Students from the Kelly College of Business and Hardin
Simmons’ Leadership and Honors programs, along with several HSU faculty and
staff, were invited to a luncheon with nationally acclaimed entrepreneur and
motivational speaker, Carrie Wilkerson, on Thursday, September 4, 2014.
After delivering the keynote speech for HSU’s Convocation
earlier in the day, Wilkerson took yet another opportunity to share her
inspirational story by communicating with students what it means to be an
“It seems that students are waiting for permission to think
differently,” said Wilkerson. “I want to
send the message that there is no magic idea, or moment and that they should
seize the opportunities before them.”
According to Kyla Stanton, junior finance and marketing
major from Idalou, HSU students received that message loud and clear.
“It was inspirational to see someone who attended Hardin-Simmons
go out and make a difference in the world,” said Stanton.
Additionally, Wilkerson offered young business professionals
ideas about how to enhance and grow their own starter companies.
“I was excited to gain ideas and motivation from someone who
has gone before me,” said Jason Ligon, sophomore finance major from Abilene, who
attended the luncheon because he wanted to ask Wilkerson questions that might
help him with his own business.
During the luncheon, Wilkerson further challenged students
to stop waiting for their opportunity to see where their idea can make a
difference. This especially spoke to Emily
Fitzhugh, sophomore social work major from Abilene.
“She [Wilkerson] inspired me not to be afraid and to step out
and be productive,” said Fitzhugh.
Dr. Coleman Patterson, professor of management and
leadership, and director of the leadership studies program, was excited to see
the students come alive in the room when they were asked about their individual
“It is wonderful to have a speaker come in and really
confirm and reinforce what we are teaching about in our Leadership Program,” said
As the luncheon came to a close, Wilkerson challenged the
students to start solving problems while also inviting them to message her directly
via Facebook with any further questions or ideas with which she might be able
Video of Wilkerson’s Convocation address is
available on the HSU website at www.hsutx.edu.