On August 24, 2018, Andrew J. Hoffman, the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, delivered the Convocation Address at Loyola University Chicago to 3,250 students and 250 faculty members.
“First-Year Text” is an initiative that Loyola University instituted in 2006, in which all of Loyola’s first-year students read the same book over the summer. The book chosen for the 2018 First-Year Text is Finding Purpose: Environmental Stewardship as a Personal Calling, by Hoffman. In this book, Hoffman “invites us to look beyond material growth and explore the role of the individual and business in discovering a wider purpose to bring about a balanced and sustainable society,” according to the publisher’s description.
At his Convocation Address, he invited students to explore their quest to find their own personal purpose:
“If there’s nothing else you remember from what I’m going to tell you today, I’d like you to remember this quote from Mark Twain – ‘The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ You had nothing to do with that first day. Your parents made that decision for you. You have everything to do with that second day. It is your task, it is your job, it is your quest to find out that reason why you were born. That’s what you are here to do.
To begin your quest, I’d like you to recalibrate a question you were asked when you were very young – ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I want to tell you here today that that’s the wrong question. The question should be – ‘What were you meant to be when you grow up?'”
Watch the entire Convocation Address here: