If you ever tune-in to the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show you may hear “Oh Oh Oh, it’s the Tom Joyner Morning Show” quite a few times in a few different ways but what you are also guaranteed to hear is Tom Joyner advocating for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Being a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, he has always fought to keep the legacy of HBCU’s alive.
The 2015 graduating class at Johnson C. Smith University found this out as Tom Joyner was chosen as a keynote speaker for their graduation ceremony. Just a radio listeners get a taste of Tom’s humor, wisdom, and passion on a daily basis, the graduating students received that and a little more.
The nationally syndicated radio host gave $5 to each of the school’s 260 graduates giving away $1300 in total. Now I know what you may be thinking, $1300 is a drop in the bucket for Tom Joyner but it was the message behind the $5 that was worth so much more. He told the graduates that it was up to them to add their own zeros behind the initial $5 gift. He highlighted that point that they have to be innovative, brilliant, and creative enough to devise their own plan toward success and significance.
With his speech being 17-minutes in total, Tom used the time creatively and wisely as he borrowed a small segment from his popular radio show to drop a few little-known black history facts about current and past graduates from JCSU. He praised the students and parents for choosing a HBCU and encouraged them to go into the new world and approach the job market as “empty vessels.”
“Learn everything you can from the people who are doing what you want to do,” he said. “It may mean working for free for a while as an intern, an apprentice or volunteer. Consider that your MBA – me being ambitious, more bucks ahead, or my broke ass.”
Tom Joyner is definitely not a “broke ass” and if the graduates of JCSU should listen to anyone about achieving success, Tom is a good person to follow.