Judge tell grads to "be quick and swing slightly upward"
(May 13, 2000)
Judge James A. Wynn Jr. of the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Saturday (May 13) borrowed advice from a baseball coach as he urged new East Carolina University graduates to "be quick and swing slightly upward."
Wynn, delivering the address at the university's 91st spring commencement, said the instruction for hitting a baseball "also applies to hitting home runs in life." The university conferred a total of 2,462 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees as thousands of family members and friends watched and cheered in sun-drenched Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Wynn, who has been nominated for a seat on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said that the first part of his advice - be quick - "is obvious. "It means be on time and ready to deal with the vicissitudes of life. Don't wait for the action to happen, but be quick to seize the opportunity. Be quick to recognize the difference between good and bad."
He said, "The second part - swing slightly up - means to elevate your outlook and behavior throughout life. Set your goals; aim high; exalt your esteem among your fellow human beings." "Being quick and swinging slightly upward," Wynn said, "requires personal commitment and discipline. It requires an embodiment of of the capitalistic spirit -to work hard, invest wisely and be thrifty and honest. It means working together to form a consciousness of character, to retake the dignity of our glorious history and to make our future more brilliant than ever before."