On May 8, the Jepson School of Leadership Studies celebrated the achievements of seniors at Finale, the School’s annual recognition and appreciation ceremony. The School honored outstanding academic achievements, leadership and service.

E. Bruce Heilman, university chancellor, delivered the keynote address.

A World War II veteran and national spokesperson for The Greatest Generation Foundation, Heilman shared his personal story, a few jokes and sage advice.

The former university president grew up on a dairy farm, dropped out of school at a young age to help support his family during the Great Depression and eventually found his way back to education.

His message to graduates: You may not know where you are going until you get there—so don’t be surprised if you end up some place else.

“My life history, like many others of my generation, was determined more by circumstance than by design,” he said. “So don’t be surprised, as I was, if you end up somewhere else, a place other than you presently anticipate.”

An avid motorcyclist who still rides across the country, he challenged students to keep learning and make the most of life.

Don’t quit living to the fullest at whatever age you find yourselves. Life isn’t over until it’s over,” he told students. “Keep your bucket list long and full.”

Senior Reflections Video


Keynote Lecture


Finale Ceremony