A speaker addressed new students at the 164th annual opening convocation at Heidelberg University Tuesday, presenting the power of choice as the most important idea to posess.
Arel Moodie spoke to the 357 freshmen and returning students in the university's Seiberling Gym. Moodie is the author of "Your Starting Point for Student Success," has spoken to more than 100,000 students in 43 states and four countries and has been featured in the best-selling book, "Who's Got Your Back," and magazines such as Business Week, Inc. Magazine and Essence.
"I want to share with you the single most important idea, an idea that I wish I had heard when starting the first year of college, and that idea is the power of choice," Moodie said. "This idea has literally changed my life. It is one thing we have over every animal on this planet."
Moodie grew up on welfare in a Brooklyn, N.Y., project, where he saw college as his only way out.
"During the first six hours of being a first-year college student, I saw the university talk about a student who was a double major, the president of two organizations and an outstanding GPA," Moodie said. "At that moment, I made the choice that by the time I graduated, I wanted my university to talk that way about me."
During college, Moodie started his first Internet company, was the president of four student organizations and the college named him "The Most Outstanding Graduating Senior."
"You have to make a choice this year to have a goal or a plan," Moodie said. "Are you going to get involved with a student organization? Are you going to win the championship? Or, are you going to find out what your major is going to be? You all have a choice, and that day is today."
Heidelberg President Robert Huntington said the class of 2017 is larger than last year and has the most balanced female-to-male ratio the university has seen.