U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn delivered the keynote address at this year’s Opening Convocation on September 16. He reflected on his successes and failures as a student and as a career politician, including three defeated elections. He encouraged Howard students never to give up, no matter how many times they may falter.
“A friend of mine said to me, ‘What are you going to do now? You just ran for the third time, and you have lost the third time. You know what they say, three strikes and you’re out.’ I said to my friend, ‘That’s the baseball rule, and nobody should live their lives by baseball rules,’” said Clyburn. “I don’t care how many times you try; you keep trying until you get it right. If I had quit after losing the third time, I would not be standing before you today as the number three guy in the United States House of Representatives.”