Dwan Prude '97 said he discovered his passion as a senior student at IMSA. This was clearly evident during his motivational and moving keynote address to the IMSA community during the IMSA 2012 Convocation ceremony.
IMSA 2012 Convocation Speaker
Dwan Prude '97
"My simple question to you all is -- have you found your passion? It wasn't until my senior year at IMSA that I tapped into my passion," Prude told students as he reflected on a speech he gave while running for Senior At-Large Representative. It was then that he has his classmates disovered what a passionate and motivational speaker he was. In addition to being employed at the Boeing Company in St. Louis as a Procurement Financial Analyst for the F-18 Platform, he has traveled the world as a motivational speaker and at just 33 years-old, serves as the Sr. Pastor of the Bride of Christ Church of God in East St. Louis, IL.
An extremely active member of the East St. Louis, IL community, Dwan serves in numerous leadership positions there and works with IMSA to improve and increase IMSA student enrollment from the Southern Illinois area.
During his keynote, Prude offered much advice for IMSA students. He told students that at IMSA, every class, every homework assignment and every second of their IMSA experience will help them to succeed in life and that when the going gets tough, they must persevere.
"You can't afford to slack. You can't afford to stay up a little bit later. You can't afford to just not try," Prude said with much passion in his voice. "Rest if you must-- but don't quit!!"
IMSA Student Council President Kevin Zhang '13 encouraged his fellow classmates to keep a positive attitude amidst challenges.
"Let optimism, happiness and hope lift you up," Zhang said. "Because I promise you, it is not mistakes that define us. It's rising above them that does."
IMSA Principal Dr. Diana Sharp, using her Lego collection to demonstrate, challenged students to make connections with others and to build relationships during their time at IMSA.
"Each of us brings something to this world and I want to challenge you to make connections," Dr. Sharp said. "These are the pieces of your legacy of which to build upon. One of the wonderful things about IMSA is that it gives you the space to connect and I want to challenge you to connect purposefully."
Finally, IMSA President Dr. Max McGee said he looked forward to all the contributions IMSA will make to the world to 'advance the human condition.'
"I know we can and we will make this next quarter century one of excellence for the ages."
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