During New Student Convocation for the Class of 2022, JSU President William B. Bynum Jr. urged more than 600 freshmen and transfer students to surround themselves with positive peers if they want to be academically successful.

Bynum told them that they must know their true purpose for attending Jackson State University. While most sat in chairs on the basketball court in the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center on Sunday, the incoming fall class was so large that some students were seated elsewhere in a reserved section in the arena.

Delivering his keynote address, Bynum spoke admiringly, yet assertively, to the audience like a caring father dispensing practical advice to a loved one starting a new chapter in their lives.

SOME people come here to extend high school. Some people come here to get away from something. You were chosen for this journey. … Understand how truly special this next four or five years will be,” he said.

“One thing I need to share with you as you start your journey and get to know your classmates is to be careful who you surround yourself with and who you call friends.”

In addition, Bynum said, “Most of us are here for great hopes, dreams and aspirations. … I hate to say that not everybody is here for that purpose. So, during the course of this week you have to discern who’s serious about getting a college education and earning that college degree.”

He urged each student to take a litmus test to determine whether or not they’re surrounding themselves with the right people.

“If you’ve got a friend and you tell them, ‘I want to be a cardiologist’ and that friend says you ain’t smart enough to be a doctor. That’s the wrong person in your circle. You need to cut that person right away.”

Bynum advised them to hang around people who can “breathe life into you.”

He gave an example: “You need people who’ll say, ‘If you want to a cardiologist and I want to be an orthopedic surgeon, why don’t we start a practice together so people can have a one-stop shop.” Read full Here.