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Celebrating 75 years
Coach Lou Holtz talks
at Hoosier Boys State
ANGOLA, Ind. – American Legion Hoosier Boys State celebrated its 75th anniversary Wednesday in Trine University’s Hershey Hall with special presentations and an inspirational message from Hall of Fame football coach and Trine trustee Lou Holtz.
Taking the theme “A Week to Shape a Lifetime,” Boys State – a weeklong residential learning experience – examines the operation of Indiana’s democratic form of government, the organization of political parties, and the practical application of the knowledge gained from both. Over 500 high school junior boys from across the state are participating in the program.
Holtz admitted he wasn’t a politician, but felt he could teach them a thing or two based on his 75 years of experience as a winning coach, mentor and New York Times Bestselling author. He offered advice on attitude, accomplishments, goals and commitment. His speech garnered him a standing ovation and an initiation as an honorary “Hoosier Boys Stater.”
“Leaders must have a vision,” Holtz told the crowd, encouraging them to figure out what’s important, have the right attitude and make good choices. “Our future is determined by the choices we make. … Making good choices is critical. First, you’ve got to do right. Second, do everything to the best of your ability and then show people that you care.”
He encouraged the boys to set goals – in relationships, religion, finances, work and fun.
“If you have fun doing something, people will want to do it with you,” Holtz said. He mentioned that – a long time ago – he set goals to have dinner at the White House, meet the Pope, travel around the globe and run with the bulls in Pamplona with someone who was slower than him. To date, he said he has accomplished every goal, except running with the bulls.
His talk then took a more serious tone, and he discussed adversity, calling it his most significant motivating factor. Overcoming obstacles is key to success, he said, emphasizing that “it will turn out to be OK in the end.”
Toward the end of his speech, to everyone’s surprise, he jumped off the stage with microphone in hand and took questions from Boys State participants. He answered four questions, without hesitation.
“Leaders have an obligation to make people the best they can be,” he said in response to one question, closing his talk. “Be significant, not successful.”
Following his speech, Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., and Holtz presented Hoosier Boys State director Steve Bowman and his senior staff of the American Legion with a plaque for his dedication to the organization and commemorating its 75 years of success.
To share your news, contact Trine University communication specialist Lindsay Winslow Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.