Darryl L. Mackey '86

2013 Convocation Address

Darryl Mackey '86

CEO of D & D Enterprize, LLC
Alexandria, Va.

August 26, 2013

Good morning, Chair of the Board of Trustees Mr. Gilroy, President Hutton, Provost Kirkpatrick, Student Senate President Ms. Ambrosi, Vice-President for Student Affairs Mr.Pattarini and all of Utica College’s wonderful faculty, and staff and a huge welcome to the incoming Class of 2017 along with other students including new transfers as well as some new Master’s degree students. Welcome to the official start of a new academic year.

You Made It.

Today is a special day for me, as well as for so many of you who have worked hard for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful convocation program.

You Made It.

I am a product of the Utica College past, a branch of Syracuse University.

In 1984, former NBA Championship coach, Larry Costello and his staff provided me with an opportunity to join the pioneer family as a student-athlete. That decision changed my life.
I was an outstanding junior college basketball player that had to have reconstructive surgery on my left knee after the eighth game of my sophomore season. Utica College was one of the few Division I programs that offered me a full scholarship—this despite the fact that I had a cast on my leg. It is Utica College that provided me with the opportunity to continue my pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree.

I Made It.

Twenty-nine years later, I have a beautiful wife. Although she went to school in the south, she did visit Utica College in the ‘80’s. We’ve been married for 24 years and been blessed with 4 children. I am an educator, business owner, and innovator of The word Teamesteem™, which has launched the publication of two books:

Teamesteem™ is The Key to a Teens Financial Dreams


A Successful Team Has Teamesteem™

Finally, I’m a proud member of the prestigious Utica College alumni. So as you begin your journey, I would like to share with you five things. These five things I want you to remember as you matriculate here at Utica College. These concepts are synergistic with the five chapters of my book.

Number one:
You must be Motivated, every day and strive to have the best day that you can possibly have.

Tiger Woods says he brings his “A”- game to the golf course, even at practice. You must bring your “A”- game to every class. You should schedule your time to have fun, but spend the rest of your time reading and studying.

It’s game time as soon as you get up each morning, open your eyes, and put your feet on the floor. Be Thankful, I know people that are not able to walk or see. This is something we should not take for granted. Go to YouTube and listen to (Nick Vujicic, he is one of my YouTube mentors.

You should strive to do your best, which does not mean that you must be the best, but you must do your best. Go to YouTube and listen to (Eric Thomas) another one of my YouTube mentors.

Number two:
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

In the Faculty Center, Utica houses four Smart classrooms that change’s the traditional classroom and how professors can deliver instruction.

We did not have smart classrooms in 1984. I was excited that my roommate Clarence (Fish) Bonner purchased a VCR. Can you believe that we did not have any cell phones either?
We had a universal payphone that was shared by all students on the first floor in South Hall.

Dr. Hutton and his administration are the “Drivers of Change,” Utica College now has:

  • Modern residence halls that houses over 1,000 students
  • The Multi-sport Charles Gaetano Stadium
  • The Pioneer Hockey facility that houses the men’s and women’s hockey teams to name a few.
As students and student athletes, you must set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals each day. Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have; once it is gone, we will never ever get it back.

Number Three:
Value Your Education.

When you earn your degree, no one will ever take it away. Your degree is an investment that will change your life. A degree costs quite a bit of money, but by being here, you have the start to a future that will make this money well spent.

Number Four:
Make Good Choices.

While Utica College is known for the excellent academic programs as well as the extensive, modern, and attractive campus facilities, the spirit and promise of Utica College today still resides in its people.

This was stated by Dr. Hutton a few years ago. You will have opportunities to meet people that come from many places. The choice is yours to step out of your box and expand your network. Your diverse Utica College family will support you, if you do the right thing.

Some of you “Started from the bottom and now you’re here.”
You started from the bottom and now you are here, to do what? Make…Good…Choices!!!

Finally Number Five:
Build your Network

Socially and in person, join a club, try-out for a team, and make new friends. You are part of a Utica College network of individuals that are “Drivers of Change”

You Made It.

  1. You must be motivated, every day and strive to have the best day that you can possibly have.
  2. Set S. M.A. R. T. Goals.
  3. Value Your Education.
  4. Make Good Choices.
  5. Build your Network
I close by reminding you that “There are three things that will last forever, Faith, Hope and Love.” (1st Corinthians 13:13)

You must have Faith in yourself, Keep hope alive, and Love your Utica College experience.

My time is up and I thank you for yours. Welcome class of 2017, all our new students, and all of you to our Utica College Family!




Office of Alumni and Parent Relations

(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502