Danner: Commitment is Key to Success
North Greenville University held its spring commencement on Friday, May 5 on a misting rain morning held in Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium on the NGU campus. Over 350 graduates received their diploma during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Greer Mayor Rick Danner was the keynote speaker.
Danner shared with the assembled group that for every 100 students nationally that started their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree the same time these graduates did; only 42% will be graduating. For the first generation graduates, only 25% will graduate. He told the graduates that the primary reason they are here is because they were committed to receiving their degree.
“Your commitment and dedication has brought you to this point as well as your pursuit of your degree. Fifty eight percent of the people that started college when you did will not finish,” said Danner. “While the excuses may vary, the reason you are here today is because you were committed to graduating.”
Danner says Zig Ziglar states that if you are committed, you will do whatever it takes. If you are merely interested, you will do whatever is convenient.
“When I think back of all the many blessings that have come my way in my life, nothing seems to match the commitments I have made, and kept,” he said.
Danner told the graduates that the most distinguishing characteristic of success is the perseverance of commitment. “You must decide what is truly important to you and commit to only those things.”
He shared three areas of his life that have become critical to his happiness, success, well-being, and spiritual growth. The three areas are: Career, Community, and Faith.
“Graduates, it is impossible to obtain success in life or realize your goals without understanding the importance of commitment. It is a personal quality. It [commitment] brings about a sense of meaningful purpose to your life,” Danner said in closing.
Danner’s commitment to the City of Greer as Mayor since 1999, has helped direct the city through one of the most progressive periods in its history.
His tenure as mayor has included unprecedented industrial and commercial growth, including the construction and opening of the South Carolina Inland Port. The City of Greer Municipal Complex, which includes City Hall, the Police and Courts Complex and the 12-acre Greer City Park, opened in 2008 and have redefined service and recreation for residents and contributed to the revitalization of Greer Station.
The revival of the central business district has been paralleled by continued commercial growth along the Highway 29 corridor with diverse offerings for all members of the community. The City of Greer has recorded growth in gross retail sales for five consecutive fiscal years, growing from $452 million in 2010 to $1.3 billion in 2015.
He has been an ambassador for economic development in the City of Greer throughout his service, traveling both nationally and internationally to tout the city’s business-friendly environment and skilled workforce.
From economic development to infrastructure and quality of life for all residents, Mayor Danner has been on the front line, particularly through two Greer Community Master Plans that have paralleled his tenure as Mayor. The most recent plan, adopted in 2015, is a blueprint for the community through the year 2030.
His leadership and vision has been recognized and tapped on many levels.
At the conclusion of his address, Danner was presented an honorary Doctor of Christian Leadership by interim president Dr. Randall J. Pannell and board of trustee's chairperson Bill Tyler.
NGU photo: From left; Greer Mayor Rick Danner and NGU Interim President Dr. Randall J. Pannell at Spring 2017 commencement on Friday, May 5.
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