First full-time female NFL official speaks at convocation

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Photo courtesy of Emma Lytle/ Student Development
Photo courtesy of Emma Lytle/ Student Development

Jillian Kurtz

The first convocation of the spring semester featured several campus-wide announcements and guest speaker Sarah Thomas, the first full-time female NFL official.

This convocation counted as a “wildcard” event, meaning that students could apply the attendance credit to any of the six categories in the Passport Program. 

Thomas was originally supposed to speak at the fall convocation, but had to be rescheduled  due to Hurricane Dorian.

Thomas, a Mississippi native, grew up with two brothers and has been playing sports since she was young. During her address in Branscomb Auditorium, she encouraged students to break barriers and keep working towards a goal. Her background as a female in a male-dominated sports industry, she said, has helped her gain confidence and become a role model to young women. 

“Do not go through life trying to prove people wrong,” Thomas said. “One door closes, another one opens; it is so true. If you are trying to prove yourself to someone else, you will exhaust yourself.”

Prior to Thomas’s speech, SGA student body president Arjeet Tipirneni announced that students will be able to get discounts at certain Lakeland businesses such as Taco Bus, Cozy Oaks, Levy’s Tire Store and more by showing their  FSC student ID card. 

Tipirneni also announced that Florida Southern’s homecoming week will take place from March 15 to March 22. A campus mural will be featured on the back wall of the bandshell. 

“This mural will be student-designed and student-executed,” Tipirneni said. “It will be representative of our campus and will be repainted every four years as a homecoming tradition.”

A form will be available on Engage for students to fill out to give suggestions for design ideas.  

President of Omicron Delta Kappa, Carson Mitchell, announced the National Leadership Honor Society’s 20 new members.

Founders Day Convocation will be held on Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m. during homecoming week. This event is mandatory for all students in the Passport Program. The guest speaker will be Florida Southern’s 86th Honorary Chancellor, Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts.

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