Looser speaks of impactful days at JCJC’s afternoon graduation

Written By: Kelly Atwood
Email Address: kelly.atwood@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2018-05-04 21:40:56

    There are two days that are the most important of your life: the day you were born and the day you figure out why.

    This Mark Twain quote was the inspiration of Rick Looser’s address given at the second of two graduation ceremonies held at Jones County Junior College May 4.

      Looser, C.O.O. and president of the Cirlot Agency, a Mississippi-based, full-service, marketing, public relations and corporate communications firm, was the keynote speaker at one of the college’s 91st Spring Commencement ceremonies, held May 4, where students received an Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Applied Science degree, a Technical Certificate or a Career Certificate. Approximately 710 of the more than 780 students eligible to graduate participated in the combined two graduation ceremonies. Ben and Erin Napier, alumni and the stars of the HGTV show “Home Town” were the guest speakers for the morning ceremony.

    Looser explained to the students that he believes there are more than one “days you figure out why” in life, and he described those “whys” as one a person has control over, one a person has no control over, one where things are happening without a person’s knowledge and one of faith.

     He shared his own whys in life. The one he had control over was what he said when he saw the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, who later became his wife; he asked a photographer to take their photo so he could show their children the day they met.

      The one he had no control over was when his vehicle flipped five times; and an example of one where things are happening without one’s knowledge was when he hired a woman who was doing the right thing at her job without realizing anyone was watching. Today, she’s the chief financial officer of the Cirlot Agency, handling millions of dollars.

    Looser’s why of faith is based on the story of David and Goliath. He mentions the verse that states David ran to the battle line.

    “You have to decide where is your faith,” he said. “Not only do I have to know who I am, but whose I am.”

     He points out that it’s the story of an underdog, but people may not realize it’s Goliath that’s the underdog “because all he had is what you can see in this world.”

     “Find that faith that means the most to you,” he said. “There is a myriad of problems. There is a myriad of solutions. There is no doubt in my mind that when you leave here today you are going to be part of the solution.”

     JCJC student Katelynn McGowen, who participated in the day’s graduation ceremonies, has known for some time what she wanted to do with her life.  The pre-med major from Moselle wants to go into the pediatric oncology field.

     McGowen has been interested in the medical field since she was 7 years old, looking up to her aunt, who was a nurse. McGowen has always possessed a drive to succeed in the classroom and had her parents’ encouragement and support to put her work first. She has just been accepted into the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship program.

    In her two years at Jones, she has already achieved so much: Hall of Fame, Who’s Who, HEADWAE, New Century Scholar, All Academic First Team, head drum major, and a vice president for Phi Theta Kappa, not to mention several honors outside of the college. She plans to attend the University of Mississippi, where she has received the prestigious Lyceum scholarship, and then the University Medical Center.

     McGowen said the part of Looser’s speech that made the biggest impact on her was when he talked about having faith in God through trials and accomplishments.

    “Knowing where you come from, staying humble, and being kind to others make a positive impact in the world we live in today,” she said. “We, as graduates, are the future of America, and we can make a difference in the lives of others by inspiring greatness in them to follow their dreams and to accomplish anything they set their minds to. According to Mr. Looser, we are the solution that can make a difference in the world, and I hope I can play a role in that.”



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