Extraordinary was the word commencement speaker Barbra Higgins used to describe the Tiffin University class of 2013 Saturday during the 125th commencement ceremony.
Higgins, from Panama, competed in the 1984 Olympic Games. She also is an entrepreneur and attorney. She has more than 30 years experience in starting, operating, and occasionally selling small businesses.
"Today is about you," Higgins said. "I know how you feel. You entering through that hallway is like the opening ceremony for the Olympics."
More than 3,000 people were in attendance including 1,200 graduates for the ceremony located in TU's Heminger Center, at 350 Miami St.
Graduates honored completed associate degrees, bachelor's of arts, business administration, criminal justice, and master's of business administration, humanities, and science in criminal justice degrees.
For success, there are three things that one must have, Higgins said. To have a passion, a clear vision, and an action plan.
"Every one of you has the ability to do anything," Higgins said. "You chose your vision by studying for your degree. You have already done what high achievers have done."
Higgins is known for the motivational talk "Everything Matters," which she presented in November for Tiffin University's lecture series "Good Morning World."
From that talk TU President Paul Marion invited Higgins to speak at the ceremony.
"I wouldn't be here if I did not volunteer my time for the World Olympians Association and met (Associate Dean of Graduate Studies) Bonnie Tiell," Higgins said. "Opportunities knock whether you are ready or not. Remember to show a willingness to go the extra mile and you can be seen as the class that (can) accomplish the most from Tiffin University."