Gary Sherrer was the keynote speaker for the third annual Hayes Lecture, at ESU's Webb Hall on Thursday, Oct. 10. Sherrer, an Emporia native and former lieutenant governor of Kansas, spoke to an audience of approximately 200 people about some of his "Lessons Learned."
His humorous and heartfelt speech kept the audience engaged, which is part of one of his lessons.
"Don't just exist," Sherrer said. "Don't just go to work and then go home. Be engaged in your community, talk to people."
Sherrer offered his perspective on many aspects of life, including Facebook.
"Now, I consider myself tech-savvy, but on Facebook, if someone sends me a message saying that their favorite aunt died, am I supposed to 'like' that?"
Sherrer also said that he "wasn't a great student... the only 3.5 I earned was on a breathalyzer."
Regardless of his grades, Sherrer encouraged self-confidence and hard work as keys to success in life.
Sherrer earned his bachelors of science in education in 1963, later serving as the state's lieutenant governor from 1996 to 2002 under then-governor Bill Graves. His tenure of lieutenant governor was the longest of any in Kansas history.
Sherrer also was appointed as secretary of the Commerce and Housing department in the Graves administration and served on the Kansas Board of Regents, including a term as chair. He resigned from the board two years ago. In 2001, his colleagues elected Sherrer as Chair of the National Lt. Governors Association.
Sam and Jeannene Hayes started the lecture series to engage alumni and highlight the university's successes. Students attending are eligible to apply for one of five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded in the spring. Students swiped their Hornet cards in order to become eligible; they also had complete a survey online before midnight of the 11th in order to be considered for the scholarship. Winners will be notified via email on Oct. 25.