Comcast Center was full of good cheer as the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business celebrated the commencement of 175 undergraduates, 187 MBA and MS students, 36 EMBA students, and 1 PhD student on Dec. 22, 2011.
Milton T. Matthews ‘68, the retired vice president of sales and CCO of The Hershey Company gave the main commencement address. The undergraduate and MBA student speakers were Jennifer Lee and LaKisha Greenwade, respectively. Smith School undergraduate Kevin Matuszak, a double accounting and finance major, delivered the student speech at the main campus convocation ceremony on Dec. 21.
Matthews took graduates through what it means to be TERPS, saying, "You are special!" There are a lot of lions, tigers and bears, but there is only one Terp. He asked graduates what being TERPS meant to them and gave his words for each letter.
T "Does it mean tenacious, talent, teamwork, or transition? To me it means Time," said Matthews. He said to take the 24 hours that we each have every day and put it into your life clock as one big clock with two 12 hour cycles: for the undergrads it's 7 a.m, for MBAs, 9 a.m. and for the EMBAs and PHDs, it's noon. "Don't waste time! Be productive and make a difference."
E "Energy, enthusiasm, entertainment, entrepreneurship, education, or experiences?" asked Matthews. "My word is Ethics - positive substantial lasting impact critical to your life will form your character."
R "My R word is Respect. Respect is earned and it's not bought," said Matthews. "It takes years to build but only seconds to lose. Respect is the foundation of your reputation." He urged graduates to think about five people on their "All Respect Team" -- parents, friends, teachers, and mentors. He said that for him, his top was his coach at UMD who took a skinny kid from NJ in and nurtured him and taught him self respect and punctuality.
P - "Passion - one person with passion is equal to 40 who are merely interesting," said Matthews. "If you find you something that you passionately love, you will never work a day in your life." He acknowledged other prominent and passionate Smith alumni and former commencement speakers: founder of Under Armour Kevin Plank, and two others who were present in the audience: Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, and Gary Williams, former Maryland Men's basketball coach.
S - "Social Responsibility," he said. "Give back and help solve social needs or problems. Share your talents and your treasures - volunteer. The social responsibly part of your time clock never ends - and will go on beyond you - like Robert H. Smith, and like Milton H. Hershey."
Matthews joined Hershey Foods as a Sales Representative in 1972. In 1977, he was promoted to Manager, Sales Planning and, in 1981, to Director, Sales Development. He was named Vice President-Sales, Hershey Chocolate USA in 1989 and in 2002 was named Vice President, Chief Customer Officer. He is credited by Hershey’s CEO as having “built and nurtured a premier confectionery organization that's clearly respected throughout the food industry."
Matthews served five years in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Captain. He served in Vietnam as an attack helicopter pilot and was highly decorated. His service awards include 31 Air Medals.
While a student at Maryland, Matthews earned nine varsity letters and set numerous track and cross country records, including an individual ACC championship in the 1,000 yard run.
Matthews has given of his time and talents serving as co-chairman of both the Smith School's Advisory Board and the Great Expectations capital campaign.
Throughout his career he has received many prestigious industry honors from such organizations as the National Candy Wholesalers Association, the AWMA Hall of Fame, NCSA Candy Hall of Fame, National Association of Tobacco Distributors, and the National Confectionary Association, among others.
Matthews and his wife Becky have endowed two scholarships at the University of Maryland, one to the Smith School and one to the men’s track team, in addition to a scholarship at Lakewood High School in New Jersey. They have two grown sons and two granddaughters, and divide their time between homes in Cape May, NJ, and Delray Beach, FL.
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications