Myers offer words of advice at USDâ�?�?s 122nd commencement By Justin Rust
Yankton Media, Inc. About 1,150 graduates at the University of South Dakota's 122nd annual spring commencement Saturday received advice about how to deal with the current economic problems from two people who've been through it before. Stephen R. Myers and Mary Lynn Myers of Sioux Falls were the commencement speakers and encouraged the graduates to work hard and it will eventually pay off. The advice came from two credible sources as the Myers navigated through the economic crisis in the 1980s. In fact, Stephen Myers was the chief investment officer for the South Dakota Investment Office during "Black Monday" on Oct. 19, 1987, when the stock market recorded its largest one-day percentage drop in its history. But Stephen Myers said it was hard work which got them through the crisis and told the graduates how important hard work will be in their lives. "Much of your success in life will be determined by your hard work," he said. "The more you value hard work, the happier you will be." In her portion of the speech, Mary Lynn Myers told the graduates to find the focus in their lives. "There are two points in life, being born and figuring out why we were born," Mary Lynn Myers said. "One person can make a difference in the world and that person can be you, so go out there and change the world." The Myers also received honorary degrees from USD for their work. Stephen Myers graduated from USD in 1966 and worked with the South Dakota Investment Office until his retirement in 2005. Mary Lynn Myers graduated from USD in 1967. She was named the first director of the South Dakota Division of Human Rights in 1972 and also served as a special assistant to the U.S. commerce secretary in the Ford administration. She would later go on to work as an administrator for US Bank and retired in 1996. "We never imagined we would get this recognition from the university," Stephen Myers said. "We have been blessed by the encouragement of our family and friends." USD President James Abbott led the ceremony. He said the success of the Saturday's graduates could be directly associated with the university's professors. "Our professors work hard to help out our students in every way," Abbott said. "The dedication of our faculty is the reason why USD is a well respected and represented university." After commending the university's staff, Abbott handed out the Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Professors Thomas Davies and David Carr of the Beacom School of Business were the recipients of the award. The award is given to one tenured and one non-tenured professor.
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