Dr. Jody Lipford, Professor of Economics and Business Administration, delivered the Honors Day keynote address in Edmunds Hall on Thursday afternoon. PC’s Faculty Scholarship Award winner for 2011-2012, Lipford stressed the importance of following your passions during his talk, “Keep Doing Economics.”
Lipford recounted his first days in graduate school at Clemson University when his interest in economics that began during his undergraduate days at Francis Marion College grew more intense.
“I wanted to know more. I wanted to learn more,” Lipford said. “And I was determined that I wanted to give graduate school my best shot. Maybe I would fail, but it wouldn’t be from a lack of trying.”
Lipford remembers a “kind but demanding” professor whom he would often visit to discuss economics.
“I remember that every time I would leave his office, he would look at me and he would say, ‘Jody, keep doing economics,’” Lipford said. “(The professor) was encouraging me to keep reading economics, to keep studying economics, and to keep writing about economics.”
The professor helped Lipford and all the other students in the class fulfill a class requirement of getting published in an academic journal. And when he finished graduate school at Clemson, earning a master’s degree and a Ph. D. before arriving at PC in 1991, Lipford remembers the professor saying, “Jody, keep doing economics.”
“And I have,” Lipford said. “And to this day I still get great joy out of reading economics, writing economics, and teaching economics.
“Here at Honors Day at Presbyterian College,” Lipford said, “we must ask, ‘What about you? What excites you? What piques your curiosity? What are you excited about?’ In short, ‘what do you want to keep doing?’”
The Honors Day presentations are indications of students’ interests, curiosity, desire to know more about some field or discipline, Lipford said. He encouraged the students in the audience to be proud of what they and their friends have accomplished but pleaded with them not to stop now.
“To the students who did not present today, ‘Pursue your interests with a passion. Pursue your desires and fulfill your God-given talents,” Lipford said. “I encourage you to think about what you wish to learn and what you wish to do with your life. Be a scholar. Keep doing what you desire. And may God grant you happiness as you do.”