Randall Ennis, CEO, gives the commencement address for the 2018 graduating class at Auburn University

This article originated at Auburn University College of Agriculture and was featured in the college newspaper, The Plainsman.

Randall Ennis, 1983 Auburn graduate and CEO of World Poultry Foundation, gave the commencement address to the 2018 graduating classes in Agriculture, Education, Forestry and Wildlife, and for the Harbert School of Business. President Leath introduced Mr. Ennis as a true Auburn man who embodies The Auburn Creed.

“Other than your wedding day and the birth of your kids (and maybe winning the lottery), this is one of the most memorable and important days of your lives,” Ennis told the graduates.

Ennis said he has made many mistakes in his life, but one thing he knows he will never regret is the day he set foot on the campus in 1979. He said his time on The Plains taught him many lessons and gave him the sound fundamentals to go on and have a successful business career.

“When faced with obstacles and you get frustrated, just be patient,” Ennis said. “Allow yourself the time to make sound, rational decisions.”

Ennis told the graduates that in addition to having patience, they must have confidence. He congratulated the class for achieving a milestone that only three out of 10 Americans have done. They received their college degree.

Ennis challenged that feeding the world will be one of the top issues this graduating class will face. “It isn’t just the responsibility of the agricultural community to solve these problems but will take the contributions from other disciplines as well. Contributions from the business and technology communities will be crucial through innovations such as blockchain technology.

Your generation sometimes gets a hard rap in the media, but I firmly believe that it is your generation who will change the world. The decisions you make, and the values that you determine, will set the course for generations to come”.

Ennis ended his address with this challenge, “To be the best you can be and a successful leader, don’t just simply follow the path of those before you, but make your own path for those behind you.”