All graduates are teachers

December 17, 2011



ESU commencement


No matter what degree they earned, all Emporia State University graduates are teachers, Dr. J. Richard Schrock told new graduates during commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011

Schrock, ESU’s 2011 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, delivered the commencement address at White Auditorium in Emporia. More than 550 students were candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees during the winter 2011 ceremony.

Dr. Richard Schrock talks to Emporia State graduates during 2011 winter commencement ceremonies.“All of you will become the most important teacher to your children,” Schrock told the graduates. “If you go to work in a cubicle or a factory, what you have learned about ethics, honesty, work, study and character will stay with you, and you are a teacher to others.”

That teaching is important, Schrock said, as he related to the graduates a memory when he started his undergraduate career in 1964. His brother, eight years his elder, made a point of taking Schrock’s course catalog and crossing out names of professors and instructors to avoid while circling even more.

“You take these professors whenever you have the opportunity,” Schrock’s older brother advised. “You take teachers not courses.”

Schrock went on to tell of Dr. Otis J. Aggertt, who singled the freshman out on his first day of classes at Indiana State University. Aggertt moved the freshman Schrock to the senior debate team. Throughout his college career, Schrock said, Aggertt was his mentor.

A professor in ESU’s biology department, Schrock encouraged the new graduates to pass along their knowledge to others they discover plan to attend Emporia State University.

Take the list of faculty names, Schrock said, and circle them while offering the following advice:

“These are the teachers you should take,” Schrock said. “These are the teachers who will change your life.

“You take teachers not courses.”

For lists of graduation candidates, click the links below:

Undergraduate degrees

Graduate degrees



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