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Citadel News Service

For release
May 8, 2004

Governor challenges graduates to become leaders by following dreams

           South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford gave the commencement address to the Corps of Cadet class of 2004 today in McAlister Field House.

           “Today is all about celebrating milestones,” he told graduates. “What I think you will find is that there are a lot of milestones in life that you cannot appreciate right now. Education in the 21st century is absolutely key to your future success. . .You are leaving a relatively safe harbor here at The Citadel for uncharted waters.”

           His advice to cadets was simple:  “Don’t go through life wearing a plastic bucket over your head. What you’ll find is that about 80 percent of folks wear plastic buckets over their heads. All you can see is your feet. You cannot lead. The reason I came here today was to challenge each of you to become leaders. People look to leaders.”

           Sanford reminded cadets of Sept. 11. “Where were you on 9-11? In every crisis the questions will be what does all of this mean, where do we go from here? You know who people look to for answers to these questions—leaders.”

           People who achieve great success, Sanford said, like Ted Turner, the Wright Brothers, and honorary degree recipients Matthew Perry and Joe Shine, march to the beat of their own drum. 

           “I beg of you to follow your own dream. If you do not follow your dream, you will never become a leader.”

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