Frazier to give ‘Last Lecture’ on Tuesday

Hannah MabryManaging Editor

David Frazier has been selected to give this . year’s Last Lecture.
Photo from Tarleton.edu

David Frazier, Associate Professor of Agricultural Education, has been selected to give this year’s Last Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Clyde Wells Fine Arts Auditorium. Speakers are invited to address students, faculty and staff on what they would say if they only had one more chance to speak to their students and colleagues. The Last Lecture is the only faculty award chosen by the student body.

“The Student Government Association (SGA) nominates one faculty per college (six in total) and the student body selects the next Last Lecture speaker during the April SGA elections,” Last Lecture Advisor and Associate Education Professor Jim Gentry said.

Frazier’s lecture title is called “Expect the Unexpected.”

“Life is full of surprises and we only need to open our eyes, minds and hearts to see what is there.  We need to be open to the unexpected and treasure the journey that God has given us,” Frazier explained. “…It will be fun, entertaining and full of raw emotion. Let’s face it, if this was really my last lecture then there are some things that I want to remind people and we are going to go over that list.”

Frazier is from Melrose, New Mexico, a small town of 700 where he began his journey in agriculture. His grandparents raised cattle.

“I spent my youth helping them or working for other farmers in and around Melrose,” Frazier said. “I was harvesting wheat and driving a tractor when I was big enough to push the pedals…My passion was livestock showing and I raised and exhibited pigs and lambs.”

Frazier graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Education. He taught high school agriculture for 15 years and decided to get his doctorate. He came back to Texas in 2012 and joined Tarleton’s faculty. Frazier said his favorite part about teaching at Tarleton getting to watch his students grow to be passionate teachers.

“Every day, I go to work with a happy soul knowing that I am going to help a teacher impact the lives of their students, and that is my ultimate destiny,” Frazier said.

According to tarleton.edu, Frazier has received many awards, but the two most recent besides becoming the Last Lecture recipient was the 2019 Faculty Excellence at Student Success Award at the university level and his appointment to the Texas A&M University System’s 2019 Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators.

Frazier is the sixth speaker in the Last Lecture series since it started at Tarleton in 2014 with the late Chris Guthrie as the first recipient. Guthrie was chosen by the Faculty Fellows, but since then the recipients have been voted on by students. Past recipients include retired Math Professor Jim Kirby in 2015, Gentry in 2016, Agricultural and Consumer Sciences Professor Rudy Tarpley in 2017, and Political Science Instructor Casey Thompson in 2018.

When asked what he hopes students gain from his lecture, Frazier answered,

“If I can convince young people that life is more about what they do for others then it is what they do for themselves, then I will be able to leave this world a happy man. I have another quote that I live by. It is Erma Bombeck: ‘When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ If I make students and others realize the value of this statement, then I have done what I need to do!”

Tickets to the Last Lecture are free, but are limited to 150 tickets. They can be picked up at the Center for Instructional Innovation, the Student Government Association Office, Room 105 in the Agriculture Building, or the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council in Stephenville. Doors open at 6 p.m. For questions, contact Gentry at gentry@tarleton.edu.

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