Futch urges students to set goals
By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor
A person is seven times more likely to become a millionaire in America if they are not native born, motivational speaker Ken Futch told the freshman class Aug. 29 at the 2007 Convocation in GPAC.
“(Immigrants) recognize the opportunities we have,” Futch said. “Opportunities are so often overlooked in America.”
Students need to take advantage of the opportunities made available by the University, Futch said.
“You have two major opportunities,” he said. “One is education and a degree, and the second is taking advantage of the student activities which are available to you.”
A graduate of Chapel Hill and the president of Ken Futch and Associates, an Atlanta-based motivational counseling organization, Futch served in Vietnam during his college years. At his return, Futch said he realized the importance of earning a college degree.
“The single thing that I did differently that made the greatest improvement was that I went to class,” he said.
He urged the students to set high goals for themselves in the area of grades and to keep working towards goals.
Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re stupid, he said.
“Each day we get up we’re given one more chance,” he said.
Futch recounted a “funny in retrospect” story about how he once accidentally shot himself in the head.
He had picked up his gun, which he kept as protection, and accidentally pulled the trigger even as his wife asked if the safety was on.
He immediately looked in the bathroom mirror “which tended to upset me,” he said. “So, I just stood there and waited to die.”
He described the entrance and exit wounds where the bullet had passed completely through his head, narrowly missing his nasal cavities and optical nerves.
“I tried to get things from a new perspective,” he said. Futch paused for a moment and then stated, “So, I looked in another mirror.”
He then described racing around with a hole in his head trying to find his insurance card and explaining to a deputy who arrived before the medics that no, his wife didn’t shoot him and he wasn’t suicidal.
According to Futch, he didn’t receive treatment until the next day. The doctor was optimistic, however, and told him that the bullet had passed through an empty space.
My wife never lets me forget that, he joked.
“One tetanus shot and two Band-Aids and I was on my way,” he said. “But, what start
ed out as a tragedy ended as a destiny.”
The fear and humiliation that came with such an incident, coupled with the realization of how short my life might have been, made me realize the importance of living life to the fullest, he said.
Futch asked the students to show commitment in their studies.
“If you do your part, the university will do its part,” he said.
Chair of the UNCP Board of Trustees Dr. Breeden Blackwell told the freshmen they are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend college.
“You are in an ideal place to achieve all that you aspire to be,” he said, encouraging the students to lean and rely on the faculty.
Dr. David Ziegler, chair of the Faculty Senate, reassured the undecided majors, asking them to be open to all ideas. He called on the students to
continually search for opportu
nities and ways to better themselves.
“Be open to the ideas you will find,” he encouraged.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors told the students to appreciate the diversity of the campus, which represents 15 different countries through the international programs.
Diversity will surround us for the entirety of our lives, he said. It is vital to establish rapport with campus diversity.