Don Tocco speaks to Hillsdale stu­dents on his book “Art of the Journey.” Matthew Kendrick | Courtesy

Stu­dents from all corners of campus gathered this past Monday to hear from author, busi­nessman, and bene­factor Don Tocco.


Stu­dents from every club on campus were encouraged to attend Tocco’s talk with the incentive of funding for their orga­ni­zation based on the amount of members present. Before entering the Searle Center for the speech at 7 p.m., the Student Activ­ities Board started checking in every student at 6:30 p.m. to give every club and orga­ni­zation credit for their par­tic­i­pation.


“His gen­erosity is over­whelming and cre­ative,” senior Dugan Delp said. “I admire the way he donates directly to the student orga­ni­za­tions of Hillsdale College, and that is greatly appre­ciated by us stu­dents.”


Tocco, founder of national mar­keting company Tocco & Asso­ciates, spoke on what he con­siders to be essential in achieving business and per­sonal success. These values are expressed in his book “Art of the Journey.” He turned these over­ar­ching values into what he calls the “five pillars of success”: having a burning desire for change, per­sonal goals and objec­tives, faith in oneself and in God, deter­mi­nation, and coura­geous action — or coura­geous “action, action, action,” as he got the audience to chant.


Tocco also stressed the necessity of having a plan.


“Where are you gonna be in the next 10 years?” Tocco asked. “Exactly where you plan to be.”


In addition to his moti­va­tional words, Tocco’s pre­sen­tation fea­tured some of his original paintings and poetry.


Nearing the end of his pre­sen­tation, Tocco said all seniors were welcome to take a copy of his book on their way out to help them as they embark on their post-graduate life. For the freshmen, he had a pam­phlet to prepare them for the rest of their time at Hillsdale.


“Don Tocco is an incredibly engaging and enter­taining speaker,” Delp said. “He is one-of-a-kind man whose success speaks for itself. His lead­ership is an example to all Hillsdale stu­dents. We are very lucky to be asso­ciated with such a dis­tin­guished and ener­getic man — an hon­orary Charger indeed.”


Although Tocco speaks at many dif­ferent col­leges and uni­ver­sities around the United States, he said Hillsdale is his favorite and that he looks forward to coming each year.


“I look forward to the Don Tocco speech every year,” junior Katie Zelenak said. “I always like what he has to say to ‘his favorite stu­dents,’ and it’s so cool that he donates money to the clubs for just being there.”