- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
When Lonnel Coats was driving onto Lakeland College's main campus for the first time this week, he said it reminded him of a field of dreams.
Coats, president and CEO of pharmaceutical company Eisai, Inc., delivered the main address Thursday during Lakeland's opening convocation, which officially marks the start of the 151st academic year.
Coats grew up in Detroit, Mich., and struggled as a young man to find himself. He used a life-changing event that occurred when he was 16 - the death of his father - as a crucible to embrace his purpose in life. He encouraged the students to embrace the opportunities they have at Lakeland.
"In life, no matter where you sit socially or economically, you will have choices," Coats said. "And with those choices will come consequences. Make good decisions so that the result will be consequential greatness."
Among other great advice and life lessons, Coats emphasized that students must make decisions that deliver the biggest benefits, and their motivation should come from within, not because someone else "wanted" them to do something.
Coats' appearance was the first in the college's Great Thinkers Speakers Series, a group of eight lectures planned during the college's Sesquicentennial year.