Dr. Betz Opening Presentation

Dr. Betz discussed a number of topics and subjects during his presentation. What point or topic resonated the most with you and why do you feel that this point or topic was the most applicable to you?


  • Andrea Allison

    When Dr. Betz talked about “leaving the wood pile higher than when you found it” it resonated well with me. Too many people do things in their lives that only serve there needs and do not realize the amazing impact they could have on other people if they only slowed down long enough to see how much they could help someone else. Being successful is not only about getting a degree and making money. It is about giving to others who cannot give anything to you and doing things out of selflessness to help someone else grow. A small wood pile can only make a small fire but when others build it up, just as we should build up each other, it can create something amazing.

  • Tanner Gore

    The biggest point that resonated with me was when he talked about “How many people can you see that will actually see you in a short amount of time?” That point caught my attention the most due to the fact that we “see” people everyday, friends, family, or just the people next to us. Yet do we ever actually take the time to notice them? It’s just like asking “how are you?” Are we asking to hear the response or just to seem nice? This opened my eyes to pay more attention and give people more respect around you by actually noticing them.

  • At one point Dr.Betz said that we were “The vanguards of society” (or something to that effect). I found that to be a very empowering statement. Once I rally started to think about it thought, I realized that he wasn’t just talking about LOT, he was talking about everyone that is perusing a higher education. This was a little bit mind blowing because of how absolutely right he is. If no one in a society, no one at all, tried to be better, than the society wouldn’t ever get better. Some might say it’s arrogant to think that way, and they’re right, but I think being a little arrogate sometimes is okay.

  • Rachel Payne

    My biggest take away from President Betz’s presentation was the idea that this scholarship really isn’t about us at all. It is so easy for us to get an ego since we have been given such an amazing opportunity to develop ourselves through PLC and LOT, but its more than developing ourselves. President Betz pointed out that this program is here to develop us for the benefit of others, the community, state, country, and for some down the line, even the world. Our purpose is to focus on the betterment of the world around us not because it makes us or who we are representing look good, but because we have a passion for meeting a need. With every action we make we need to consider how it will be beneficial to those around us. President Betz encouraged us to also make a difference by nurturing the development of those who could one day make a difference. That final thought has been consuming me for the past day or so.

  • Ethan Wood

    The point I found to be the most resonant and powerful was when Dr. Betz spoke about how learning was integral to both service and leadership. Learning is something that never stops, and that you should never stop indulging in. I think there is a large portion of the population that at some point in their lives stops the learning process, and becomes stuck in a political, ethical and factual quagmire, something that threatens progress in this nation. Without an informed and educated population, one that understand the issues at hand and what skills are necessary to tackle them, what kind of leaders are going to be elected to solve those issues. I think the dysfunction rife in our political system makes evident what kind of leaders will be elected: Leaders who possess neither the skills nor the vision to bring America out of stagnation and into a new era of progress and power.

    The American public needs to get educated on the issues at hand, and elect leaders who can solve them. And, on the flipside, those wishing to be leaders should work to educate themselves in order to be the best leaders they can be. Only when America has a qualified and capable corp of leaders invested in the attainment of the best possible future for her citizens, as well as the educated population needed to discern between proper and poor leadership, can she truly flourish again and be an example to the world.

  • Gabrielle Devero

    I thought I knew a lot about leadership but Dr. Betz really opened my eyes to new ideas about leadership. I really liked how he broke up leadership into 3 sections: learning, leading, serving. He really showed that leadership is more than stepping up and telling people what to do. You really need to serve others to be a successful leader. He also told us to move forward with positivity and not just a cock eyed optimist which I found super interesting. I loved how he said our life is a never ending story and it’s totally true! We never stop learning.

  • Kayla Standlee

    The point that stuck with me the most were the 3 key words: learning, leading, and serving. To be a leader, you must learn to be open to do everything necessary. You have to be willing to open yourself to any and everything possible. The heart of a servant is one that is unselfish and full of compassion. The ability to set aside your ego and to be under submission to another. A heart that seeks to meet the needs of another before themselves. Those that know how to serve are the ones make the most difference. We have to learn to serve before we can truly to leaders. The key to success is yourself. I feel like this point is most applicable because a leader that is all talk and never puts in work, is a leader that will not have that much of an impact. But a leader that is willing to do the dirty work and not be afraid to take full responsibility of tasks, is a leader that will make the biggest impact and the largest difference. Serving is key to leading.

  • Amanda Davis

    The thing that stuck out most to me was when President Betz spoke on learning, leading, and serving. He mentioned that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and I believe that this university really embraces that. I have never seen so many students, from all backgrounds and organizations, come together to help others in so many different aspects. Whether it was for Moore relief, or just helping out at the Central Pantry, we are doing so much to help others. The quote I loved the most yesterday was “The most sustainable assett in Oklahoma, the nation, and in the world is the person you see in the mirror every morning.” It is nice to be reminded that we can be the change we want to see. We are in control of our own destiny and that was a healthy reminder of that. Great job President Betz!

  • Chantell Hay

    The words that have really stuck with me since Tuesday are “the power of we not the power of me.” It is so difficult sometimes to focus on others rather than yourself. Our society is constantly pushing independence, but there are so many benefits from depending on and working with others. Together we can do so much more than one can do by themselves. President Betz made me realize that this leadership opportunity is all about reaching out and humbly serving those in need, together. By doing this, we will will also realize our capacity as individual leaders. I am so excited to unite with my classmates and see how we can impact our community this year!

  • Ashley Palmer

    One thing that Dr. Betz said that really resonated with me was, “We are intentionally, purposefully, creating a culture of learning, leading, and serving.” This caught my attention because it is something I have believed for a long time. I think that from the age 5ish to 22ish that your job is to grow yourself as a person and learn skills that will make you an adult. It is your time to serve the community that raises you. Also it enables you to make connections in your society that will help you in the future. Everyday you should learn at least one thing new. If you do this then tomorrow you will be prepared to be a better newer you. As leaders on this University’s campus we must make learning, the act of bettering ourselves, leading, not asking anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, and serving, being an example and giving back, to better UCO for future generations

  • Christina Traverso

    On Tuesday, Dr. Betz talked a lot about the future, traits of leadership, integrity, graduation, and lots of other things, but what really stuck out to me during his talk was the emphasis on the “younger generation”. That’s us, right?

    Dr. Betz mentioned that people in the workplace today, and maybe those beyond or outside of college all together, want to “nurture” the younger generation because believe it or not, life ends. And when that happens, they want to know that they left the woodpile a little higher than they left it. That’s why the wealthy man was so happy about building a playground for kids.

    So, why is it so important that this happens to young people, besides the obvious fact that we shape the future? An answer, (as I believe there are many of them), lies with one simple response that everyone has probably heard in their lifetime: “It’s how I was raised.”
    Another clause Dr. Betz commented on in relation to this was how older people generally want to teach younger people what they know, or to pass on virtues from their generation, (which, in my personal observations, sadly seem to be slipping away from our culture). Why do they want this? Because as a child, they were taught certain things, and they have stayed with them and been validated through their experience. It’s how they were raised.

    This brings up another point that I find very interesting, which is that your childhood has a profound effect (effect, NOT affect, for all my fellow grammar lovers out there) on the way you live your life. And, if I’m being brutally honest here, it’s the time when we’re most naïve, or even vulnerable. Teaching a child something is generally simpler than teaching an adult, because their brain is less developed and they accept things more readily. (Disclaimer: no, I’m not claiming that kids don’t ever fight anything or are easy to deal with, or anything like that.) For example, if a child is raised in a religious family, it may be easier for them to accept said religion, because they were raised in a home with those values. This isn’t always the case, in fact many children who grew up in religious homes may grow up completely opposed to religion altogether, but in many cases the child is more susceptible to believe the same thing their parents believe.
    So what’s the point? 1) the younger generation is valued as “the future”. 2) the older generation wishes to teach the younger generation in order to preserve the future. 3) what they teach is based off of, or at least affected by, how they were raised. 4) It’s up to us. What kind of future do we want to create? That’s a big part of leadership too, I think, learning how to decisions and deal with bad ones.
    So there’s some ramblings of what I took away from a couple things Dr. Betz introduced on Tuesday, I really enjoyed his speech and a lot of what he remarked about the future.

  • Denton Scherman

    President Betz made many laudable statements throughout his speech on
    Tuesday. One that really hit home and has resonated throughout my mind is
    the quote he told us from Nelson Mandela. “It always seems impossible until
    it’s done” is one every leader should cherish; as does President Betz. I
    love quotes like this because short little phrases can carry strong and
    powerful messages. As leaders many people may look up to us; however, we
    will always encounter those who believe we cannot accomplish the goals we
    set. We should always strive to be better and set high goals. We are all
    here on this world for a reason. We should all make a difference no matter
    how small or how big. Like President Betz said, “Are we going to leave the
    wood pile like we found it?”

  • Jessica Casey

    President Betz’s speech was filled with many wonderful topics about leadership; however, one subject stuck out to me in particular-“The List of Life.” Dr. Betz went on to explain that the “List of Life” was composed of four elements: Live, Love, Learn, and Leave something behind. This caught my attention because I feel as if I’m constantly trying to figure out “The meaning of Life.” Why am I here? What does my future hold for me? What’s my purpose in life? However, this simple List sums up what we should all be aiming to accomplish in our lifetime. Live-to the full extent of your life. Take every opportunity and make the best of it. Live for yourself and live for others. Love-anyone and everyone. Love your family, friends, neighbors, peers, and love your enemies. Love those who need it most. Learn-to be a great example to the world. Learn to lead by serving (and serve by leading). Never stop trying to learn because it is a lifelong process. Use your knowledge to help others. Leave-something behind on this earth that will greatly influence others. Leave your “mark” on history, or to whoever is in need of it most.

  • Shelby Allen

    Although there were many points in President Betz’s speech that I found intriguing, one of the strongest points was his notion that “there is always need.” As student leaders, I think we get caught up in thinking there are only certain ways we can productively serve others. We immediately think to be an effective servant we must find the “lowest” or those in serious need. We forget about the emotional needs that every human has, and the simple ways that they can be fulfilled. Instead of always looking out to the community for volunteer work and leadership opportunities, we need to consider the people that have already been placed in our lives and how we can be serving them better. Just because individuals don’t struggle financially, doesn’t mean there aren’t other physical, emotional, or spiritual needs that they require.

  • Beth Rawlins

    Are you an authentic person?
    Even after Dr. Betz had moved on to different points, this question still echoed in my mind. Too often it is easy to see the problems in society and take on a cynical view of people. Sadly, I am guilty of this. I am quick to see the facade of others, but who am I presenting to the world? Am I presenting a portrayal of what I know character should be, or am I presenting the true, authentic me? This question is one we should ask ourselves everyday. Instead of diagnosing society as flawed and attempting to change human nature, we should start with ourselves. If we cultivate in ourselves and in each other authentic character traits such as integrity, a servant’s heart, and love for others, our impact will be so much greater on those around us through our leading by example.

  • Maddisen McCleary

    “I welcome you to your future, your going to write your story, you will create a saga of motivators, you will make us a better place, and at the end that is not a bad lifestyle” This was Dr. Betz last quote of the presentation. This statement stayed with me because I have always been a big dreamer! Throughout the presentaion Dr. Betz made point after point about being a leader, a giver, having a gracecful heart and always leaving more behind then when you arrived. After the presentation was over this quote stuck with me because it is something we may forget sometimes. We are so focused on our next move, our future, tomorrow, but really we’re molding our lives every second. At the end of the day, I want to be able to look back and ask myself “what did you do to impact someone today?” or “what difference to make to leave today better than yesterday?” I want to bring a smile to someone’s face everyday. With this quote from Dr. Betz I hope to keep thriving to have a giving heart. I want to go to sleep knowing I helped someone’s day that needed it. I can not wait to create my path and motivate one another to make this a better place. As cheezy as that sounds, I love people, and this quote is a few words that spoke a little louder to my heart! Dream big, go far, touch hearts, and make a difference! 🙂

  • The piece from Dr. Betz’s presentation that most resonated with me was his story about his wealthy friend who built a park for kids in the community. The reason I feel like this story stuck with me, was that it doesn’t matter what all you have done in your life such as accomplishments or awards but that serving people in the community is what really matters. The story really made me think about what was truly important in life, and put things in to perspective for me. I also enjoyed Dr. Betz’s point about presenting yourself in public and making a lasting impression on people. Most people make judgments on the first impression, so if you can present yourself in a manor that seems respectable then it will be easier to build relationships with people in the community.

  • Ashley Sells

    When Dr. Betz started talking about President Clinton and how everyone who talks to him says they feel as if they are the most important person at that moment. Even if it’s just for 30 seconds, President Clinton gives the person he’s talking to all of his attention. Instead of some people at Dr. Betz political gatherings, who will be talking to him, but scanning the room looking for other more important people to talk to. When Dr. Betz told us this I remembered a few times when I talked to someone,and how their not fully engaged in the conversation, and shamefully how I’ve done the same thing to others. It made me realize I can do a better job at making people feel they are important to me by just giving them all my attention during a conversation. I want people to feel special about themselves and know they are important to me.

  • Katie Sheehan

    President Betz obviously has a passion for learning as he mentioned numerous times that we need to have “lifelong learning” and that we need to “learn how to learn.” This does not merely apply to learning at school or by people older than us (such as mentors), but learning how to learn continually throughout the day. It inspired me to look for opportunities to learn in the most practicle ways. From children I have learned to take joy in the small things and to not take life too seriously, from the guy that dances outside Fitness 19 with the sign I have learned to take pride in my work and to do every task (regaurdless of what it may be) with a happy heart, and as lame as it sounds, from my dog I have learned to always be loyal to the people you love, even if they do not always treat you the best. President Betz introduced a different way of viewing situations in life that in the end will help develop wisdom, and understanding of what is really important.

  • Lexi Banister

    One thing that really stood out to me as Dr. Betz was speaking was when he said something along the lines of “he would speak to a person as though he or she was the most important person in the room.” “He” being a person Dr. Betz saw as highly decorated. This resonated with me because so often I will find myself talking to a person and not giving them my full attention because I believe I may have something better to do. When in all actuality, that is what a great leader will do; a leader will lend an ear and a listening heart to anyone who may require it, because they go above and beyond what may be considered as the “normal.” Leaders are ordinary people striving to do extraordinary things and that includes being there for people no matter how “busy” they believe they are. We, as leaders, need to be selfless because we did gain our position by ourselves; we got where we are because people molded us and helped us along the road. Dr. Betz really painted a picture of humility and I want to strive for that humility and selflessness as well.

  • Kaley Everson

    “It is the series of choices, values, and direction that makes a life well lived.” This proclamation seemed very distinct in a way that it grabbed my full attention. What is it that each individual is doing that makes his/her decisions impact others profoundly?

    Dr. Betz made a distinguished comment as “Do not view the world optimistically, but rather, seek a change.” The world and its surroundings do not change from positive outlooks. The world adapts due to the fact that there are certain individuals who seek and reach for something better. I believe that through a collaborative effort, we will not just impact the world, but shake it. This is what really makes a difference. Through this, values are established. The establishment of values influences choices and hence direction.

  • Malana Smith

    There was a few things that stuck with me during President Betz’s lecture that really made me consider things I am have overlooked, especially as I have entered college. One thing that gave me some perspective was the idea that no one makes perfect choices everyday. I always strive to thoroughly plan every decision so that I do not make mistakes, but I have to realize that I may not get it right every time. At the end of my life, it is going to be the values and context to which helped me decide and justify my choices that showed a life worth lived- not that I got it right every time.
    Another thing that made me think was the idea that – sometimes- our unique pathway chooses us. So many times I have tried to choose my own path based on other people’s expectation and what I thought I had to do in order to be happy instead of truly seeking out what I was good at and what I could adequately do that would benefit other people, not just myself; to leave the woodpile a little higher even though I never planned on becoming a lumberjack. President Betz told us that having authenticity in how present ourselves to others is essential to be successful, I think that also parallels to how authentic we are to ourselves in what we should do with our lives. We need to honestly ask ourselves what we are good at, what so we enjoy doing, and how can we help others with those strengths- not just choose to be or study something in order to live up to the expectations of people around us.
    And last but not least, realizing that our life is not about us, but how we can help other people. President Betz stated that we, “lead by serving and serve by leading.” And I think that is absolutely on target. If we want people to get their eyes of of themselves and focus on how they can help other people, then we need to live by example. As Watchman Nee once said, “they made me their leader, so I became their servant.”

  • Kayla Auffenorde

    The thing I struggle with most is being able to pursue and voice my passions to a team. I strive to get each member vocal about their passions, leaving mine buried in the back of my mind. What I learned from President Betz is, “to move in a direction of your passions, as a member of the human team”. Each leader brings something unique to the table; therefore each leader’s passion should be touched in some way. After his presentation, I found myself asking, “Why do I want to be leader?” This question can only be answered by going to the roots of what I believe in, my passions. What I believe in is the foundation of my leadership. As leaders, we have the opportunity to create the world around us. It is not about changing the world; it’s about making a small difference in our community that will eventually impact the world. Too often we become wrapped up in selfish ambition but at the end of the day we all have something in common: a passion to learn, a passion to serve, a passion to lead.

  • Mariah Wagner

    The topic that Dr. Betz discussed that resonated the most with me would have to be when he was talking about the connections we make with people. He told a story about how at political parties, you can always tell who is actually invested in you, and who wants to find someone better and more powerful to talk to. He said that being able to connect with people and making them feel like they are the most important person in the world at that moment is one of the most valuable skills you can have. I completely agree with this statement, and think it is something that we all as a society should strive to become better at doing. Connecting better with people is definitely a goal of mine, and he helped me to see how important it really is to have this skill. It will help in every aspect of my life, whether I’m talking to a friend, a stranger, a teacher, or while I’m in the professional field talking to someone.

  • Christen Hickey

    In the past few months of my life, I have been making several critical choices that will shape my future immensely. President Betz made a point to distinguish the way “your path will choose you” despite the mistakes you make. Why? “No one makes perfect choices”. I walked away from class actually feeling more reassured about the decisions I’ve made this past year, keeping in mind that I’m now more in control of my life than ever before, and that if I follow my passion, I’ll be on my right path.

  • Brittney Rutledge

    The most impactful point to me that Dr. Betz made was when he mentioned his very accomplished friend who, after everything he had done in his lifetime, believed that his greatest accomplishment was building a playground for a group of children. It does not take much to have an impact on society. All one must do is recognize that there is a need and do their best to facilitate that need. A person will never know just how greatly their small sacrifice will impact another person. With the building of that playground, Dr. Betz’s friend may have kept a small child off the streets who may just end up having an even greater impact on the world than the playground had. There is so much that can be done just by making a small sacrifice.

  • Hawley Austin

    Dr. Betz spoke about “contributing something larger than ourselves.” This particular thought touched my heart the most because I want to make an impact on my community. Yes, volunteering at the food bank and collecting money for different organizations are ways that I make an impact, but is that all I can do? Dr. Betz told a story about a man that built a play ground for children that didn’t have one, and that was his biggest accomplishment. This story made me think about the way I impact my community and it made me realize that I can do what I am doing now and much more. My life isn’t all about me, it’s about serving others as well. He said it is “the power of we, not the power of me.” I love how he focused on others and not himself. His speech made me more aware of what I can do, with the help of others, to impact my community.

  • Chelsea Ratterman

    The point that stuck with me was about the playground. The gentleman had done so much and yet this was his favorite contribution. In our society we are always trying to pack as much as possible into our lives, but in the end only a few of those are going to truly matter in shaping us as we go through life.

  • Joseph George

    The point that resonated with me the most was “learning is tied to leading and serving.” The reason why I picked that point is because I never thought about it that way. When I started to think about that point, I thought about how true it was. As leaders we come across different opportunities and situations that may be new to us, or we may come across a person to help and we may get a different response from them. Once we face the opportunity or situation, we start to build our leadership/serving skills. It can be through the smallest of situations and that could be the biggest learning experience we could ever have. We just have to keep our minds and eyes open to it.

  • Beth Rawlins

    Are you an authentic person?
    Even after Dr. Betz had moved on to different points, this question still echoed in my mind. Too often it is easy to see the problems in society and take on a cynical view of people. Sadly, I am guilty of this. I am quick to see the facade of others, but who am I presenting to the world? Am I presenting a portrayal of what I know character should be, or am I presenting the true, authentic me? This question is one we should ask ourselves everyday. Instead of diagnosing society as flawed and attempting to change human nature, we should start with ourselves. If we cultivate in ourselves and in each other authentic character traits such as integrity, a servant’s heart, and love for others, our impact will be so much greater on those around us through our leading by example.

  • The point I found to be the most resonant and powerful was when Dr. Betz spoke about how learning was integral to both service and leadership. Learning is something that never stops, and that you should never stop indulging in. I think there is a large portion of the population that at some point in their lives stops the learning process, and becomes stuck in a political, ethical and factual quagmire, something that threatens progress in this nation. Without an informed and educated population, one that understand the issues at hand and what skills are necessary to tackle them, what kind of leaders are going to be elected to solve those issues. I think the dysfunction rife in our political system makes evident what kind of leaders will be elected: Leaders who possess neither the skills nor the vision to bring America out of stagnation and into a new era of progress and power.

    America needs informed, progressive, capable leaders willing to shoulder the challenges of the day, and an informed and caring populace to select from the myriad of candidates for leadership positions. The best way to achieve this balance is through education, something President Betz highlighted in his speech.

  • Ashton Smith

    While listening to President Betz on Tuesday, several points he made stuck out to me but or in particular. While some wouldn’t think into it as much, after I left I continued to think throughly about it throughout the day. When President Betz talked about the difference in projects you really devote yourself to versus projects that you just do to build your résumé I really related myself to the topic. While I love to help and get involved I often find myself wondering if I am just “going through the motions” of life. This year I want to make a difference throughout others lives and mine as well. I know we can’t be involved in every service project possible throughout our lives, but the ones we can be, I hope now to devote all that I have fully to help benefit others and make a lasting mark.

  • Jordan Conley

    The point that stuck with me was that sometimes we think the plan is “x” and it turns out to be “y”. I’m a planner and sometimes I panic a little bit if a plan that I make changes even the tiniest bit. This made me realize that it is okay if my plan does change. Just because I make a plan and that’s what I want to happen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that is what is supposed to happen. The path that I have planned out for myself may not take me to where I am supposed to be. When our plan does change it will be for the best.

  • Madelyn Ferguson

    When Dr. Betz was talking about how the best athletes achieve greatness then they use that as a platform to push themselves further, it really got me thinking. I think that it’s really hard to find the motivation to push yourself to the next level, and that’s why the people who do are usually recognized for what they do. I also think its important to have friends who are there to encourage you to be the very best you can be. Because its easier for me to encourage someone else to be a better person, so I do this as often as possible hoping that one day when I need encouragement they will be there helping me to become my best self.

  • Olivia Cavazos-Hudson

    When President Betz had said “the power of we not the power of me” it stuck with me through out the week. Everything I have done I realized that it is not about me it is about everyone around us. It is very selfish of me and other people to only be concerned about themselves.
    Another point that really hit me hard and influenced me when he was talking about his friend who was very rich and that the best thing that he had done was build a playground for children. It is nice to see and hear about people who are not selfish with their money and think that one of the best things they have done for the world outside of their own was to build a playground for children before he died.

  • Jenna Jones

    While being an audience to Dr. Betz’s speech on Tuesday, a topic he mentioned that I connected immensely with was the importance of self-evaluation. When it comes to effective leadership, it is vital that those in a position of influence are coming from a genuine place within themselves. If we neglect our responsibility to extend a positive sense community that comes from a serving heart, ultimately the work we do will be hollow. I believe a major trial we face when it comes to leading and serving is determining where the line is between an ego-driven intention and a passion-driven intention. A purpose of passion paired with humility will produce results that the world needs. These results will make a difference because they are coming from a place of altruism. Whenever our egos are taking up space, our outcomes will be missing the important substance that selflessness provides. Furthermore, positive effects are all about the connections we make with others. In order to accomplish this, humility is essential. The purpose is not just about “you” – we are responsible to create a platform for a new threshold.
    This topic of self-evaluation felt most applicable to me because it is something I have been working towards improving in myself lately. I have the tendency to do things for the attention and praise of others, rather than extending myself genuinely to help someone’s life gain positive traction. To reiterate what Dr. Betz emphasized, the power of we cannot be accomplished with our egos in the way.

  • Lauren Walker

    The point Dr. Betz made that stood out most to me was about how he treats others. He stated that when you talk to people you must be genuine. Just from listening to him speak I could emediately tell how genuine and caring of a man he truly is. Today, we live in a world were we communicate with people through technology and are loosing a real sense of face to face relationships. It is important that we continue to have real relationships with others and as Dr. Betz said “be genuine”. I know that he is sincere and passionate not only about the people that surround him but also about this school and his community. We should all strive to have those same qualities.

  • Sunny King

    After hearing Dr. Betz speak, I realized the importance of leaving a legacy. So much of what Dr. Betz spoke about ties into that one idea. He explained multiple times throughout his speech how necessary good leadership is to advancing society in the future. He also told us his reasoning for continuing to stay involved in his various organizations is because he has become interested in creating opportunities for future generations. Even the story Dr. Betz told about his friend who built the playground showed the importance of changing the quality of life in someone’s future. His friend was concerned with “leaving the woodpile a little higher,” which is really what good leadership is all about. Good leaders are concerned with making a difference, and changing someone or something for the better, simply because it is the right thing to do. Dr. Betz really reminded me just how significant we can all be to our society by leaving a lasting impression in our community.

  • Matthew Frech

    The thing that most resonated with me about Dr. Betz’s talk was his metaphor about leaving the wood pile higher than it was when you found it. It went along perfectly with his story of the man that helped to build the local park. The reason these two things stuck with me so much is that I feel the importance of giving back to people. I only wish I had done something so substantial by now, but it makes me remember all the small things that I have done during my lifetime. No matter what they may be, it seems to me that the things I have done for other people are the ones I can remember most clearly. It’s almost like sharing an experience with someone else, in which both of you are benefitting from it, makes the experience twice as meaningful.

  • Daniel Fijalka

    One of the points that President Betz made in his speech was that no one makes perfect choices every day, but the series and context of your choices decide a life long-lived. This statement really stuck in my mind, because oftentimes we worry too much about making mistakes. It is difficult to accept failure or that you might have made a bad decision, but that acceptance is how you develop the quality of character. This relates to another point made by President Betz, how the “qualities of leaders advance the qualities of society.” The greatest leaders of our times all certainly made mistakes, and none of them were without flaw. I think part of being an effective leader is seeing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and develop the qualities you wish to strive for. If everyone can have this mindset, society bonds will strengthen and flourish. When you look back, are you proud of the decisions that you have made, or is there opportunity to grow? Growing from every experience around you is part of learning that is a “never-ending story.”

  • Elizabeth Larios Rodriguez

    To me, really all of it was awesome! The way he touched on all the parts of leadership: learning, leading, and service, was awesome! I just loved how he mentioned about making sure to leave your mark! Don’t just live life selflessly, impact lives! And leave something behind! Leave a long lasting impression! A legacy of your own!

  • Allison Cox

    During Dr. Betz’s speech, he said, “You are more in control of your destiny than you ever have been”. This really stuck out to me because of how accurate it is concerning our lives here in college. Coming to college as freshman, we really have not had the chance to grasp that how we spend our college life, our experiences, will determine our future. This is my fourth year of college so after Dr. Betz’s speech, I really had to take a moment and reflect on the previous years that I have spent in college and how vital they were to get me where I am today. This just leads into another great point that Dr. Betz made during his speech: “Did you leave the woodpile a little higher than you left it?”.This was a great reminder that I have an impact on every encounter in my life, and it is up to me to decide what kind of impact I want to leave.

  • Callie Thompson

    Something Dr. Beta said that really stuck with me was something about “the power of we, not the power of me.” This made me realize how we all get so caught up in what we can do we forget to realize ow much the people around us can do too. We can all get som much more done if we all work together. We each have different sets of skills we can use to accomplish a lot on our own, but we can accomplish more than we ever imagined if we put all of our skills together as one.

  • Rebekah Murphy

    “We are continually becoming” was the first thing I wrote down and the thing that stuck with me the most. My plan for the future has already changed so much in the past month, and I feel like I’m starting to mold myself into what I’m really supposed to be. I am now realizing I control more of my life than ever. I’m looking forward to pushing myself into new directions and trying different things. I used to be stuck on having a plan, but I’m seeing my life changing so rapidly it’s almost scary. I’m going to spend the time I have to learn to go with the flow and be happy. I’m so thankful to have already surrounded myself with people who are climbing in life, and encouraging me to become more than I had ever imagined.

  • Blair Summers

    Dr. Betz made so many valid points about life as a leader and servant, but one that really hit home with me was what he said about collaborating, not cooperating. It sometimes becomes difficult as a leader and in a group setting not to be a tad selfish. Whether it is intentional or not, I often find myself quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) judging or finding flaws in other people’s ideas. I tend to cooperate, not collaborate. However, why sacrifice the best or most reasonable idea for personal recognition? Who cares? I think this is a philosophy we all need to be reminded of on occasion. Collaborating as a group or team full of different perspectives to create a better outcome is much more significant than one individual’s input.

  • Reagan Perry

    During Dr. Betz’s presentation, he asked us “What version of you will you show the world?” which really got me thinking. Sometimes people think they can’t make a difference in this world or that no one is effected by the choices they make but in reality if we were to all show the best possible versions of ourselves, think about how that could immensely effect our society. I took it as a motivation to show my best possible self to everyone by being a good leader and peer. It’s like a domino effect. If every person you came across daily were positively effected by you, it might encourage them to do the same to others. And that is how you help create a better society.

  • Ilyssa Owen

    “What you do and how you do it has profound impacts on the people around you.”
    -Dr. Betz
    I remember perfectly in my mind the first conversation I had with Dr. Betz. It was PLC retreat, we had just finished eating, and he was meeting the freshman. Dr. Betz mentioned in his speech Bill Clinton making the people he spoke to, even if for only thirty seconds, feel they were the most important person in the world. Now looking back at the conversation I had that day with Dr. Betz that is exactly how I felt. Dr. Betz inquired upon my ambitions for life. I replied with a dream of running a daycare but that I changed my dreams often so was not absolutely sure. He told me that whatever I did choose that he believed I certainly could accomplish the goal, and be very successful, because of my intense enthusiasm. People say things like that occasionally but I remember this very moment with Dr. Betz in particular, because you could tell by how he said it that he meant it. I talked with him for under a minute and he had already impacted my life for the better, because he genuinely meant what he said to me, and I now hang on to my enthusiasm as a tool for success. If Dr. Betz had no meant what he said, it may not have resonated with me. He did mean it, and now that moment in life is one of my moments of impact. In turn I want to be a moment of impact for someone…and not just one person…someone everyday! By far my favorite moment in Dr. Betz’ speech was when he commented about every night looking back to see if he had positively impacted someone’s life that day. It takes a beautiful heart to look back ever night and wonder that. I told myself I wanted that level of passion to serve and lift people up in my heart the moment Dr. Betz said that. However, honestly and regretfully I have not asked myself that question yet. I have so much improving to do to be the kind of woman that can answer “yes” to the question “have I positively impacted someone’s life today?” That is what resonated with me; continually growing, learning, and striving to one day have that kind of beautiful heart concerned only with serving those around me and having the ability to positively impact someone by through a simple conversation.

  • Brady Sowell

    When Dr.Betz used the analogy of leaving the woodpile a little bit higher then where you found it he really grabbed my attention! So often we look at our own lives as how much wood we can burn without having to do a little cutting and stacking of our own. This world has no shortage of cozy people burning as much wood as they can. As leaders what we are called to do is start stacking wood in a way that shows others how they should do it! Anyone can tell someone to cut wood while their own feet are propped up by the fire, but as leaders we have to get our hands dirty. I think this struck home with me so much because of this 9/11 project! Its giving back to people who are working to keep us safe and making personal sacrifices to do so! They are working to build the pile up, the least I can do is help them in their journey even if its not always the most fun or easiest task!

  • Hunter Duke

    The point in Dr. Betz’s speech that resonated with me most was when he told the story about his friend who built the park in the community. It made me realize that life is not all about accomplishments, awards, and money. Its about doing everything you can to help the community. Having a “leave the wood pile higher” attitude in life is really what it is all about.

  • Lydia Davis

    During Dr. Betz’s speech he mentioned that we are intentionally creating a culture. (I underlined “intentionally”) This was a key point for me because it illustrated that we are impacting a generation; though we may not realize it, our choices and influences are components of the culture we live in. We don’t generally make mindless decisions so I began thinking about how I am choosing to shape my life–and impact others. He mentioned that “we are the key component in society”. I was reminded that I should be consciously living, not mindlessly going through my day or week or life. My actions should be intentional because they are impactful.
    The other point that was made that I reacted to was the question of authenticity. Dr. Betz asked plainly “are you the real you?”. This is extremely valid for me, as a freshmen. It was impressed upon me that college was a time to reinvent myself–no one knows me, no one cares who I was in high school. This is an important time in my life to make sure that the person that I am representing to others is a person that I am proud of. He added that “we are more in control of our future than ever before”. I was reminded that I am in control of my reputation, my actions, my future, and I can use the real me to be a servant to others.

  • Sheyla Rabei

    Of the many strong points that Dr. Betz made, being a servant and doing things for other people was a philosophy that truly stood out to me because as a leader, it becomes important in whatever situation you can find yourself in to put others ahead of yourself. I believe that when being generous and helpful towards others, it can also provide humility and perspective, which are two very important features in a leader. I always try to be a servant to others, not only because I feel like it makes me a better leader but also because I think it provides a type of happiness unreachable by selfish means.

  • This is one of the points that has resonated me most throughout the session–President Betz said, “Everyone has their own pathway, and sometimes we get pathway Y when we are aiming for pathway X.” I think this is very true because people change their minds easily to match what is best for them. We might have a target in life that we wish we could achieve and we worked hard to get it. However, we find something that might be better for what we are already aiming on. For instance, I am a Mass Communication major with emphasis in Strategic Communication. I wish I could work in an advertising company in the future because I thought I am better at creative thinking rather than verbal communication initially. As time passes and now I am in my Senior year, I realized recently that I perform better at public relations and I love communicating and mingling with one another. What I mean is that I might not end up working in an advertising company but there are still many options out there which are opened for me. The most important thing is that we need to be moving into the direction of our passion and dreams no matter what.

  • Cale Parnell

    The thing that kept sticking out to me was that there is more riding on our success than we might see. President BETZ mentioned in his speech that “we are trying to establish a community of learning, leading, and serving; and that we are the vanguard in trying to create it.” This is exactly what I was talking about. Everything is up to us. We’re all getting groomed to fill prominent positions and make decisions that will potentially affect the lives of others. This means people will be watching us, and expecting us to lead, and lead successfully. That’s part of the reason we’re in PLC, LOT, etc. So, we’re some of the first ones to get this ball rolling. If we’re going to be the ones creating this culture, we need to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row. We’ll be expected to know the answers. This class and our speakers are going to lead us in the right direction, but it’s up to us to take advantage of our opportunities ourselves.

  • Tre Fairbanks

    Definitely the point on collaboration not just cooperation. With cooperation, you can achieve common goals and make progress, but it will be one sided. To elaborate, I mean one party will secede to the other’s objectives in order to achieve success. With collaboration, both parties are contributing and therefore can create more ideas. There is always room for improvement with an idea. When like minded individuals with knowledge collaborate they can come up with endless possibilities no matter what the situation is. That is essential with being a leader, in one way, it displays humility by showing that you can accept and comply with an opposing opinion, and it also shows that you are willing to make connections and compensate for the greater good.

  • Weston Schloss

    Dr. Betz really is a fantastic guy and a wonderful public speaker. (good looking, too, I might add!) He cares so much about his students and everyone around him. He gives himself to this school, and his community. It seems that every action that he takes he does to help others. He mentioned in his speech that you can’t fake or pretend leadership. One has to work diligently to become a leader. He said that you have to be authentic. Just be yourself. That’s why I really look up to him. In a time when others feel they have to put on a front to everyone, he’s very genuine and heartfelt. What made me fall in love with this presentation was seeing Dr. Betz go up there and try to help every single one of us find ourselves. The leadership program exists to help us find ourselves. To make ourselves a better version of what we once were. Thank you.

  • Sammy Corrales

    These are just a few of the opening statements that President Betz comensed with.

    “Often time, the pathway is not one that was necessarily planned out, programmed and chose, but one that was maybe just chosen them.”

    “In our lives, what happens is we prepare ourselves for opportunity in a variety of ways and that we think the pathway is “X”, and turns out maybe “Y. That why path turns out really well into the nature of who really are, and ultimately what drives us.”

    Even though I am only a freshman in college, I want to know what I will be doing after my graduation. I want to know that I am not wasting my time when I can be doing something that seems more beneficial to me. The uncertainty of not knowing what is to come is what kills me at times. I have done/do, some not so great things, because ultimately, at the end of the day, I just want to know that I am “OK” for those few hours. I came to college not knowing what would happen to me, and questioned whether or not to even come because of my finances. I am pretty much alone here at UCO, all of my friends went to OU/OSU. It seems to me right now, that I have NO idea what I’m doing. Even when I try to plan something out. With the opening statements that Dr. Betz chose to give, it let me know that even though I have something in mind, there is no guarantee that my path of life will take me there.

  • On Tuesday Dr. Betz covered a wide range of topics from his personal life experiences to the authenticity of politicians. The part of his speech that stuck with me was the brief remarks he made on the Arab Spring and the current crisis in Syria.
    We are the first generation presented with a society that can easily connect, debate, and act on a global scale. This presents as many opportunities as it does problems. We have the ability to read about, listen, and watch power struggles and wars play out around the globe but we haven’t developed the methods and tools to allow the American public at large to decide if it is our place or in our interests to interfere.

  • Cierra Chastain

    When Dr. Betz talked about making the 30 second connection was the topic that resonated the most with me. Relationships face to face are very valuable. Connecting with others is an important life skill and making sure your present. I will often let less important things get in the way, like focusing on my phone and not truly making that connection. Let us not neglect our meeting together but be present in the lives of others. Being mindful of what impact can we leave on them.

  • Samuel Corrales

    “Often time, the pathway is not one that was necessarily planned out, programmed and chose, but one that was maybe just chosen them.”

    “In our lives, what happens is we prepare ourselves for opportunity in a variety of ways and that we think the pathway is “X”, and turns out maybe “Y. That why path turns out really well into the nature of who really are, and ultimately what drives us.”

    Prescient Betz gave hope to some of us out there who don’t really know where life is leading them right now. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just want to know where I will be after graduation and what my title will be. I dislike having the uncertainty of waiting. Whether of not my plans work out to my favor, I know that I will be where I am supposed to be. For example, I was originally a Dance Ed major, and that didn’t work out. I still am involved in some dance events, however, if it wasn’t for me changing my declared major, I would have never met some of the guys from the fraternity I am pledging, and most likely never would have. It doesn’t seem right at the time of unexpected change, it just is without us knowing.

  • Jonny Schwartz

    My favorite thing about President Betz’s speech was the woodpile metaphor. Betz said, “Did you leave the woodpile a little higher than when you found it?”
    Sometimes we need help from others and have to take in order to grow. What is important is what we do with that experience. Did we give back more than we took? This is extremely important in regards to contributing to society. We all need to do our part for the greater good rather than taking only for selfish ends.