It's Your Journey... It's Your Life:
Keith Fox '80 offers advice to undergraduates at commencement
Keith Fox, who graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1980 with a major in marketing, was Keynote Speaker for the 2010 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies at the School of Business. Addressing more than 700 graduating students along with families, friends, and faculty, Fox wished the audience a Happy Mother's Day, and then spoke of the dedication and determination required to finally reach this important milestone:
"You got to this wonderful day through incredible sacrifice and hard work — not all of it your undertaking. You were under your parents' wings the first half. Then you were given the opportunity to step out and earn some personal freedoms — your High School years. You passed that test, and it brought you here to UConn. You have done well, and your presence here at graduation portends that you are ready to solo."
Fox also recalled his four years at UConn, the classes, sports and dorm life, and of his own indecision following graduation:
"Now to be honest, I had the same range of emotions you are probably feeling today. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I graduated. I wanted a job and to make enough money to be on my own. I started working at a small computer store in Norwalk Connecticut, in sales and marketing. I did well enough to be noticed and hired by a little company at the time called Apple Computer."
Tracing the arc of his fifteen-year management career at Apple, and then at Cisco Systems where he was Vice-President of Worldwide Corporate Marketing, Fox offered a challenge to the graduates:
"I tell you this because you will have many life experiences. You will continue to discover yourself. You will grow. You will have more than one job in your career. You will work for more than one company. You will most likely have a family… and you, like your parents, will invest in others.
Think big… have a plan… work hard… and have fun along the way. Compete hard… and play fair. If you aren't in a good career place, change it. It's your journey…it's your life. UConn has prepared you well. Be confident that you can compete with professionals from all over the world… Continue to make yourself, your family, and your friends proud."