‘Find something you are passionate about and pursue it with diligence’

Dreams often seem insurmountable. We tend to limit our possibilities in favor of what is comfortable, and discard notions of achieving that which our high-school teachers and parents always encouraged… “You can do anything you set your mind to!”…. Who hasn’t heard that a million times?

As a WKU Spirit Master, I have heard the motto, “The Spirit Makes the Master” more than Big Red has performed his famous “belly shake” at games in Diddle. But with repetition comes understanding, and through my meditation on that iconic phrase, I have been able to discover Henry Hardin Cherry’s intent. Our first president wanted each student’s WKU experience to be defined by passion, persistence, integrity and excellence. 

The summer before my freshman year, I created a bucket list of “50 things to do before I die.” Some of those goals were: 1. Continue to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and grow in my faith; 2. Meet the woman that I will marry; 3. Be the first member of my family to graduate college; 4. Go to dental school; and 5. Ride my bicycle across the United States.

Since that time, my four years at WKU have allowed me to accomplish many of my dreams. Through my involvement with Campus Crusade for Christ and helping co-found the “WKU Share A Swipe” organization, I have sought to attain both spiritual and personal growth. The spring semester of my sophomore year I met the woman of my dreams and can’t wait to marry her this summer. 

I will graduate in a little more than a week with a double major in chemistry and biology, and will be heading to the University of Louisville Dental School this summer. And through the help of family and friends, I was able to complete a cross-country bike ride after my sophomore year.

It must be noted that my goals would never have been reached were it not for the support of wonderful people at WKU. I was blessed to share my college experience with members of my fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji). Fiji provided me with tried and true companions — friendships founded in encouragement, honor, service, and a shared relationship with the Lord. Through their support, I was able to create Fijis Across America, a cross-country bike ride completed with five of my fraternity brothers in memory of my grandfather and others affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Through our efforts, we were able to raise more than $56,000 for Alzheimer’s Research. This summer, Bike4Alz, composed of Fiji chapter members, will be recreating the 2010 ride to make an even bigger impact. (You can learn more at www.bike4alz.org) What an encouragement that is!

In summation, my experience, and that of countless others over the past century, illustrates the vibrancy of the WKU spirit inherent in all WKU students. With such a spirit as our guide, we can strive to accomplish whatever aspirations burn within us. Here is my advice: Find something you are passionate about and pursue it with diligence. Through devotion to a cause greater than yourself, you will come to find “The Spirit Makes the Master.”