In 1984 PBA began the tradition of American Free Enterprise Day. This week the university celebrated it for the 31 time.
The winner of this year’s American Free Enterprise Award was Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, and founder and CEO of Invemed Associates. In his speech, he explained what he believed to be important to being successful.
“Always reflect on those blessings that have come your way,” Langone said. He said the three biggest blessings in his life are his parents, wife and faith.
His parents had little education, but said they loved him unconditionally. According to Langone, this is the most precious thing in life.
“If I failed, or if I did not do well, they were not trading their love for my success...and that was a great motivation.”
Langone met his wife when she was sixteen and he was eighteen. He said he knew that his wife would always be there for him, no matter how successful he was in life; and that is precious to him.
“Your spouse is going to be very important to what happens to you," Langone said. "Do not ever trade your integrity, your honor, or your decency to be in a place where you have to compromise what matters the most to you. There is nothing more precious in your life than your reputation.”
Langone said his faith was important when he co-founded Home Depot, and it was then that he began reading his Bible every morning.
“I thought it was neat that the founder of Home Depot came from a basic background with uneducated parents. You can start with nothing and really make something of yourself if you work hard," said senior nursing major Shane Claytor. He was encouraged to do his best, work his hardest and let God do the rest.
Ray Dorsy, who works in commercial insurance, said he goes to AFE every year.
“It reminds me of the importance of patriotism and I think it is very important for students to understand patriotic value," he said.