The narrative that guides my life is the motto of Bethune Cookman University, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve.” (BCU Student Handbook, 2011, p. 19). I feel that this motto leads me because Bethune Cookman College (now University) gave me a chance of a lifetime with a college education and a music scholarship. In 1988, I was considered an “at risk” student because of my grades in high school but I was pretty phenomenal at music. Bethune Cookman and Band Director Mr. Harold Bray took a chance on me when no one else would and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. In 2018, (30 years later) I am in graduate school, which speaks to the impact that the motto had on my life both personally and professionally.
As you roam in and out of various building on the campus of Bethune Cookman you will see inscribed above the doors are the words, “Enter to learn, Depart to serve.” This is more than a motto for students and alumni, it is a challenge and a proclamation to all who enter and exit through those doors. Alumni, professors and family assisted me with my matriculation at Bethune Cookman which highlights that “a narrative serves as such a dwelling place, working rhetorically to protect and promote a give sense of the good.” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, 2009, P. 38). A person that comes to mind that protects and promotes the good is Bethune Cookman alum Glenn “Horatio” Walker. He is General Manager of BCU’s radio stations. He was my college radio adviser and has continued to be my mentor since 1988. He was very instrumental in setting the tone for my career path and is part of my narrative that guides me. He also taught me the importance of helping others in our business which leans heavily on the BCU motto, “Enter to learn, Depart to serve.”
“A narrative provides guidelines for human action.” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, 2009, P. 37) and the Bethune Cookman motto “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” is truly a blueprint for action. I really take the motto to heart and I feel it is my obligation to mentor and train Bethune Cookman students in the Communication department that are interested in going into the radio field. I have connected with many students over the years but a stand out for me is Marc “Nailz” Dixon. We met in 2007 at a communication panel and he asked me to mentor him. He graduated from Bethune Cookman in 2009 and he has been extremely active in the field of radio. Since 2016, he has his own local morning show at Power 95.3 in Orlando, Florida. He also is extremely active within the community as well.
In my everyday decisions both personally and professionally I apply the universal-humanitarian approach to communication ethics because it “assumes a built in guiding ethical principle that is part of human nature, protecting and promoting the good of duty and responsibility to human beings.” (Arnett, Fritz, Bell, 2009, P. 56) with “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” and everything it stands for has my life narrative. In my career, my main responsibility is to protect our brands. In my personal life, I am always looking for ways to promote positivity in order to live a happy life. My overall rolling theme to success is being responsible to do good for myself and others in my life personally and professionally.
Arnett, R. C., Fritz, J. M., & Bell, L. M. (2009). Communication ethics literacy: dialogue and difference. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, ebook.
Bethune–Cookman University (2011). Student Handbook (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 3, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2011.