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.”