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Provost Speaks at Last Lecture Series

Brittany Pickett
Around Campus Editor

   University of Arkansas at Monticello’s Provost R. David Ray spoke to students at the Journalism Club’s first Last Lecture Series Feb.27 in the Memorial Classroom Building Auditorium. 

Photo by Latoya Shelton
Going Strong -- Provost Ray still gives an energetic lecture, keeping the crowd captivated after 37 years.  Approximately 30 people attend the Last Lecture Series Tuesday evening.

   “It’s rather disconcerting to know that this is my last lecture, but positive to know that I know when it is, instead of not knowing,” Ray said to begin his lecture.  

   He spoke on many things he has learned along the way through life, such as occupations he had before he became a professor. Throughout his life, he held many jobs. He built barns, learned to cement, sold life insurance, drove an 18-wheeler truck and even worked at a radio station in Texas. He did all of that, before waking up one morning and telling his wife he wanted to go back to school.  

   Ray went back to school. When he did, he said his family supported him in going back. He recalled a time when he came home upset because his adviser made him take a three-hour Art Appreciation class.  

   He said he did not know how he could be forced to take such a class. In the end, Ray said he ended up taking six hours of the class because of the professor. Ray said he never saw someone so consumed with what she taught. 

   Ray talked about the lecture that stood out the most to him, involving a picture his professor brought to class that she took on a vacation. He said the class thought they were going to get to see some cool buildings and scenery from the area. However, she did not show those types of pictures. She showed pictures of cracks in buildings and cracks on the floor. All of which, he said, she found some kind of picture in.  

   He said that art class was education at its best. The professor made the class memorable, meaningful and dynamic all at the same time. 

Photo by Brittany Pickett
Introduction Speech - Journalism Club member Kevin Sims introduced Provost Ray at the Last Lecture Series.

   Education, Ray said, gives us freedom, the freedom to choose. It also gives us the power to ride and to be free. “Education is really the key.” 

   “Teaching is what I am, what I enjoy,” Ray said. All human beings are teachers in some respect. He said students learn from the teacher by what they say, what they do and who the teacher is. The real task of the teacher, he said, is to become the motivator.  

   Ray developed a list of qualities to fit a good teacher. Those qualities included: 

§         They like what they do and they show it.

§         They believe education is important.

§         Teachers keep learning.

§         They have an excitement for learning.

§         They are adaptable. 

   He went on to say teachers teach because of the intangible award. Expanding the human mind is the reward for teaching. If it had not been for his first and second grade teachers, Ray said he would not be where he is today.  That is what UAM is about, taking students from where they are to where they want to be.  

   Through out his lecture he gave advice for life, including:  

§         Nothing works unless you use it.

§         Set your own standards.

§         Comparing yourself to someone only sets you up to lose.

§         There is always going to be someone smarter and better than you.

§         Smell the roses and even give more back.                                                                                    

   In the closing statement of the night he said, “I salute you the student, salute you the teacher each and everyday.”


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ŠThe Voice 2006
10/29/2007 05:30:11 PM