The Junior Fellows attended the President’s Speaker Series last night, enjoying an entertaining and impressive discussion with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. The Speaker’s Series was established in 2002 and the President’s Office has recently teamed with Priority One, an in-house internship provided by the Mass Communications Department, for some of the University’s events such as this one.
President Gibson and the Priority One advisor, Peter Roussel, were on hand to ask questions, with Ryan providing entertaining anecdotes and sharing life lessons.
Ryan, as it turns out, was not only one of the best pitchers in baseball history, but also a savvy businessman. He owns a cattle business, and is the current CEO of the resurgent Texas Rangers.
He also has some local connections. In response to a question from President Gibson, he noted that three of his siblings attended SHSU and, in fact, he almost attended. He was given a scholarship, but opted to sign with the Mets instead. Eventually, he found a business partner in Don Sanders, who graduated from SHSU in 1958 and for whom the University’s baseball stadium is named.
Before playing baseball, Ryan was far from the millionaire he is today. Growing up, he delivered newspapers to earn an extra buck, and he identified his family as his greatest influence.
His advice to students was simple and straightforward: (1) treat people the way we’d like to be treated, and (2) do things that you are passionate about.
This was a great opportunity to meet an interesting man who had a great career and an interesting life.