Steven Benzley tells graduates to sweat the small stuff

During the convocation ceremonies on Friday, August 15, the graduates of the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology were given sound counsel from Dr. Steven Benzley, a former BYU civil engineering professor.

Benzley advised students on how to be successful after graduation, and how each graduate can thrive in their chosen field. The theme of his remarks was “success in well doing,” which centered on the scriptural concept that out of small things great things can come to pass, and demonstrated the real-world application of this principle.

To illustrate his point, Benzley used the success of the computer industry as his prime example, and pointed out that computers, even modern ones, basically only count to two, and simply use a series of zeroes and ones.

“The secret of the computer's success is that it can do it so fast and without error,” explained Benzley. “What you are able to do might not seem very profound, but if you do it well and you’re consistent, your success is virtually guaranteed.”

In addition to this principle of simplicity, Benzley dispelled the myth that career success hinges upon a high GPA, by relating the story of a small group of alumni that simply wanted to find a way to give back to the university and its students. This collection of students, who graduated more than 20 years ago, had a cumulative GPA of just over 3.0, and today run major companies and have created a multi-million dollar scholarship foundation.

“They are more happy to give back to the university in any way that they can, and they are leaders in their community,” said Benzley. “This group has surely found success in well doing.”

Benzley summarized his comments into three categories, humility and professional will, faith in ourselves and consistency in sticking with small and simple things. He ended his remarks by promising success to those who follow the previously stated principles.

“Opportunities for success and leadership will be available to you because of your unique ability to very tightly couple your education, with all the gifts that your Heavenly Father has given you,” promised Benzley.

The graduation consisted of 180 total graduates, which included five candidates for doctoral degrees, 42 master’s candidates, and 133 bachelor’s candidates. 

Return to College News page.