Seniors hear from alumnus

Samkon Gado speaks to soon-to-be graduates

Former NFL running back and Liberty alumnus Samkon Gado (class of 2005) spoke at the annual senior Convocation Friday, April 17 at Williams Stadium’s Club Level.

The class of 2015 enjoyed coffee and doughnuts while Gado, who finished medical school the day before his Convocation speech, shared his story, as well as what he learned about success while in the NFL and medical school.

“It’s a privilege to be here and have an audience with the upcoming class of 2015,” Gado said. “Congratulations, you guys. This is no small feat.”

After graduating from Liberty, Gado played five seasons in the NFL and then moved with his wife to study medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He plans to finish his residency in ear, nose and throat surgery at St. Louis University.

Gado was born and raised in Nigeria in 1982 before moving to the United States in 1991 with his family so his father could study at Columbia International University.

The family of six had not lived together in the same city before moving to the U.S. Gado said his parents led successful careers in Nigeria, but “tabled (their) ambitions because it was more important to follow Christ.”

While in the U.S., Gado began to develop a love for football and biology.

Gado said he enjoyed his time in the NFL and was thankful for medical school, but he saw that virtues were not considered the standard for success in those arenas. The world defines success different ways in different places.

“It’s important to define success now,” Gado said.

The NFL keeps literal measurements of success with statistics. The medical community considers intelligence and published papers as success. Gado said those definitions of success will lead to misguided ambitions.

“If you pursue success without Christ, you’ll feel empty,” Gado said. “If you are obedient to him, he can give a richness the world cannot give. This richness surpasses material gain.”

Gado left the students with a challenge to follow the narrow path and pursue success as God defines it.

Hoosier is a news reporter.

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