Tune In: An SMU trustee’s advice to December 2011 graduates

The SMU community celebrated the graduation of about 950 students in ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 17, with business and civic leader Carl Sewell (’66) as the featured speaker.

“SMU is your university,” Sewell told the graduates and their families and friends gathered in SMU’s Moody Coliseum. “You have been a part of the greatest academic growth in the history of this university…and it clearly is on the path to becoming a great university.”

Sewell, past chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies, a national leader in the automotive industry and an innovator in establishing customer service standards. He shared his service philosophy and practices in the best-selling book Customers for Life, which has sold more than 1 million copies in 17 languages.

Sewell offered four major pieces of advice for the graduates:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Think about what you read and how much you read. Make the reading of a serious book something you do at least once every six months.
  • Decide how good you want to be, and how much time you want to devote to it.
  • Learn from failures. (He mentioned his long history of working with GM, and how he has learned from that company’s failures.

Click the YouTube screen to hear more, or click here to watch video of Carl Sewell’s December graduation speech in a new window.

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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