Freshman class urged to “Run Your Own Race”
Texas Southern University students, faculty and staff gathered September 9 to observe the university’s annual Founders Day Convocation. The guest speaker was TSU alumnus and St. Luke Community United Methodist Senior Pastor Dr. Michael Bowie, Jr.
Founders Day is a university tradition that observes the charter set on September 14, 1927 by the Houston Public School Board to create the Houston Colored Junior College which evolved into Texas Southern University. The convocation shares TSU’s rich history of accomplishments, its impact on Houston and Texas, and its strong alumni pedigree with the freshmen class.
Dr. Bowie encouraged the Class of 2020 to not take their college enrollment for granted and to draw upon the examples of those who came before them to keep TSU’s legacy alive.
“I want you to know that you have chosen the right place to begin your new journey,” Dr. Bowie said. “You are sitting in the hallowed halls and the sacred spaces that have been established for nearly 90 years. We are here today because others before us fought, sweat and struggled for an institution they loved.”
Dr. Bowie instructed the audience to complete the race that they have started, comparing their academic journey to the 2016 Olympic track and field competition.
“There are others who have gone before you that have successfully completed the race,” he said. “Class of 2020, that baton is in now your hand and now it is time to run your leg of the race. Stay in your lane, keep your eyes on the finish line, run your own race and strive to finish your race.”
TSU President Dr. Austin Lane presided over his inaugural Founders Day event. Dr. Lane was installed as TSU’s 12th president in June.
“For the Class of 2020, I will remember this for a long time because we are starting our journey together,” Dr. Lane said. “I’m challenging myself, my administrative team and you to make sure we work together and do our parts to make sure I see you on the graduation stage in four years.”
Other Convocation speakers included TSU National Alumni Association President Julia Askew, Staff Council Chair Derrick Wilson, Faculty Assembly/Senate President Dr. Rasoul Saneifard, and Student Government President Justin Lee. Ishmael Barnett, a junior and member of TSU’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship delivered the invocation and benediction. The University Band was conducted by Clarence K. Gibson and the University Choir was led by Dr. Roy Belfield and accompanist Caleb Taylor on piano. Student Regent Tramauni Brock rounded out the platform guests who were seated on the stage.