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Auburn University alumnus and veterinarian Dr. Jay Price emphasized the importance of working hard, enjoying the journey and being intentional during his speech to more than 1,400 new grads at Neville Arena. Friday night.
The 2006 graduate relished the opportunity to speak to his alma mater during the summer opening ceremony.
“As an alumnus, I first want to commend each of you for your hard work and perseverance over the past few years,” said Price, a native of Phenix City, Alabama. “These are tough times, and it makes your accomplishments at Auburn all the more special. Your tenacity and determination to succeed have brought you here today, and I speak on behalf of the entire Auburn family when I offer you well-deserved congratulations.
Price, who earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine, founded Southern Veterinary Partners, one of the nation’s largest networks of veterinary practices. He talked about the risks of taking risks like the one he did in creating the conglomerate, which has more than 330 hospitals in 15 states.
“Creating SVP was a huge life risk, but it taught me a few lessons that I want to share with you all,” Price said. “No one should ever take themselves too seriously, and no one should be above the most menial task, especially if it helps you achieve a major goal. Then be intentional. My decision to quit being a veterinarian practitioner to start SVP was a considerable risk, but I was intentional about it.
“You can never go wrong by talking less and listening more, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn by doing this. Traditions are an integral part of the Auburn experience. It’s traditions that unite us , which keeps us coming back, and it’s also the traditions that make things bittersweet for those of you who are about to leave.
When her first application to the Auburn Veterinary College was denied, Price had to make a decision. He chose to dig in, work harder, and deepen his experience, and he was accepted on the second try.
“It meant more to me because I knew how special this opportunity really was,” Price said. “I entered vet school with intention, purpose, and a deep understanding of three core values that I know are the keys to success: hard work, relationships, and perseverance.”
Price spoke of the bonds that members of the Auburn family have enjoyed throughout their lives.
“Every student has a different Auburn background, but there are things we all share,” Price said. “The first time we walked onto campus as students, this moment now, as you prepare to turn your acorns to the left – our journeys begin and end the same, but each of us has unique moments It is the connections made during these moments that make these moments special.
“Walking down the hall with friends on a spring day, the excitement and anticipation before the first game day of fall, the sheer joy we experienced together watching Coach Pearl and the basketball team defeat nearly every opponent during the regular season to win the SEC title. Like the traditions we share, these moments connect us.
Price ended with a reference to a passage from Auburn Creed, which was written in 1943.
“Even though George Petrie wrote this line in the Auburn Creed decades ago, it has never been truer than it is today: ‘I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow human beings and helping each other and brings happiness to all.” Price said. “We live in very polarized times, but these words mean so much to the Auburn family. It’s what keeps us together. despite our differences, and that’s what unites us, whether we’re the class of 1943 or the class of 2022.
“We are connected because of the values and experiences we share.”
Friday night’s speech also included the official presentation of more than 1,400 degrees by Auburn Board Member Quentin Riggins, as well as group recognition of graduating undergraduates with honors and an official welcome to the Auburn Alumni Association. It was also the first departure of Auburn president Christopher B. Roberts, who took over from Jay Gogue on May 16.
“I’m honored to be with you as I begin your life as president of Auburn University,” said Roberts, who personally greeted each graduate on stage during Saturday’s varsity ceremonies. “Getting a degree, whether at the undergraduate, master’s or doctoral level, is a remarkable achievement. It demonstrates your commitment to learning, your ability to persevere, especially in times of challenge, and most importantly your ability to master new skills.
“Wherever your degree from Auburn takes you, know that you have the knowledge and confidence to succeed. Apply everything you’ve learned here, whether it’s from the classroom and the lab to the dorm and the organizations you’re involved with, and use it to make a positive impact on the world. We are counting on you.”
Friday night’s program was followed by individual college ceremonies at Neville Arena on Saturday, which ran from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. professional degrees. The university awarded 909 bachelor’s degrees, as well as 20 specialist degrees in education.
More information about Auburn’s celebrations can be found on the Beginning’s website.