Lee News

DeVos Encourages Grads at Saturday’s Commencement

Commencement 2019
Graduates and their families fill Walker Arena on Saturday.

Lee University held its graduation ceremonies Saturday with Richard DeVos Jr. delivering the commencement address before a record number of graduates, their friends and families, and many others from the Lee community. Five hundred and seventy four graduates earned degrees from more than 100 different programs.

“DeVos is the leader of one of America’s most successful and prominent families in the world of business and public affairs,” Lee President Paul Conn said when introducing DeVos.

He is also the son of the late Richard and Helen DeVos, who were life-long friends and supporters of Lee University.

DeVos Addresses Grads
Dick DeVos addresses graduates.

In his address, DeVos compared the graduation milestone to a skiing adventure, one with many trees - representing obstacles, disappointments, challenges, and fears – and many openings, representative of the opportunities ahead of each graduate. He encouraged them to focus on the many “openings,” instead of the “trees.”

“You’ve received excellent training,” said DeVos. “The Board of Directors, President Conn, your faculty, and your administrators have done their jobs very well. You are well-trained and well-prepared to select your path ‘through the trees’ through prayerfulness, thoughtfulness, and skill.”

DeVos also spoke of his parents’ pride in the university and its students. “They were always so proud of this place and the exceptional work that goes on here. I know they, too, would be proud to see all of you here today.”

DeVos is the former president and CEO of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team and former CEO and president of Amway Corporation. He is the founder and president of The Windquest Group, an investment management firm in Michigan, and is an advocate for education at many levels.

Prior to Saturday’s ceremony, there was a hooding for students earning master’s degrees, a pinning service for nursing students, and a commissioning service on Friday.

To view the graduation events in full, visit livestream.

574 Diplomas Conferred

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