Published on August 17, 2020 by Morgan Black
In a virtual commencement event on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, successful entrepreneur and alumnus of Samford University’s Brock School of Business Chad Trull, delivered an inspiring message to the class of 2020.
Trull received his accounting degree in 2005. Following time with Deloitte as a tax adviser, he launched his entrepreneurial career with the founding of HospiceLink and Independent Medical Equipment, as well as the acquisition of Affinity Hospice. His newest venture is HighFive Endo where he serves as founder and chief executive officer. Trull sponsored the creation of the Data and Sports Analytics Lab in Cooney Hall and serves on the Brock School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board.
Trull began, “I am very grateful to be among this group of graduates to celebrate together on one of the most exciting days of your lives. Each of you are graduating into an environment that is clearly unique, fragile and interesting. Each change that happens will likely put you in a different world that you have not seen before. Each world you experience will create one or more opportunities that could mold your careers, families and who you are forever. These opportunities are gold to those who choose to approach the next chapter of your life with a plan to conquer and succeed with a positive state of mind. Some may call this environment a pandemic, some may call it a recession, some may call it an election year. History tells us that some of the best companies created were started during a time of economic unrest.”
He went on to share examples like the founding of General Electric in 1876, Disney in 1929, Sports Illustrated in 1954, Microsoft in 1975, Netflix in 1997, and Airbnb in 2008.
“These founders had resilience which is a key commonality to the creation of these great businesses,” he added. “I encourage you to view this new world through a lens that is one made up of opportunities rather than hurdles. The individuals listening in today who look at these as opportunities will be much happier and do greater things with the game called ‘life’ that we have all been fortunate to take part in.”
After reminiscing on some of his memories and connections he made as a Samford student, Trull detailed four pieces of advice for the graduates. He said, “First, remember how much you have left to learn. Secondly, stay grateful, stay humble and stay hungry. The third topic is my personal favorite. Get your money’s worth! Keep in touch with your friends you made at Samford. Lastly, give back. You must give to receive. It is rather simple.”
Trull closed, “So put yourself out there. Fail, get up, do not whine, give more the next time. Together we can change the world.”
During the ceremony, Brock School of Business Interim Dean Chad Carson also addressed the graduates. “You will always hold a special place in our hearts for your persistence in the face of challenges that no other graduating class has ever faced. Since March you have moved to fully online classes, completed degree requirements, searched for jobs in a challenging job market, dealt with illness and uncertainty and countless other hurdles to get to today…and even today was not what we had hoped for and planned. But, through all of this, you have persisted with the tenacity of a Bulldog – a Samford Bulldog – and on behalf of the faculty and staff of the Brock School of Business, we could not be prouder of you.”
The event recognized 150 new graduates who received their hard-earned undergraduate business degrees. Additionally, 69 new Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) graduates, 25 of which received joint degrees, were recognized.
The names of each graduate were read, and the degrees were conferred by Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs J. Michael Hardin.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.