As we celebrate the Super Bowl championship for the Kansas City Chiefs, let us not overlook the important lessons we can learn from their hard work and perseverance.
Just as when you first received your letter of acceptance to William Woods University, the Chiefs were surely elated when they reached the Super Bowl, for the first time in 50 years! It was an honor making it that far. They had achieved what only two teams could accomplish this NFL season. A university experience is much the same. Our students have achieved already what only a select few can attain. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 69.1% of high school students attend college, and out of those students, only one in four graduate in four years. We are proud of our students for what they have accomplished to earn their place at William Woods.
During Sunday’s game, the Chiefs found themselves falling behind. It would have been easy to give up hope as CNN later reported that the Chiefs were the first team in NFL history to win three playoff games after trailing by 10 or more points in each postseason game. The Chiefs persevered, worked hard, closed the gap, and claimed their victory. As the semester progresses, at times students may feel challenged by the amount of work they must do to reach their goals. As the second youngest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes said, “We kept believing. That’s what we did all postseason. I felt like if we were down by 10, we weren’t playing our best football. The guys really stepped up. They believed in me.” The team relied on each other, relied on their coach, and persevered.
Our students also have a team they can rely upon. Faculty, peers, Academic Services, counseling services, on ground and online tutoring are just a few of the resources William Woods’s students have to persevere through the final quarter. As Chiefs Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill said of Patrick Mahomes, “He was encouraging us, telling us to believe. You know, we were down 20-10 and he was telling us to believe in the fourth quarter. He saw it in some guys ‘eyes, they were getting down, including myself. I was like, ‘Man, how are we going to pull this off? And he was like …Like the same faith you’ve had all of your career, you’ve got to believe right now. It’s going to happen, man. I can feel it.’”
At William Woods, we believe in our students and their success. We pride ourselves on being student-centered. Our students are the reason we do what we do. So as you make your way through the semester, be assured you are part of a team that contributes to your success. Echoing the advice that led the Kansas City Chiefs to Super Bowl victory, your success is going to happen. After thirty years as University President, I can feel it.