Chesteen, who was elected in November to represent District 87 in the Alabama House of Representatives, delivered the keynote address to graduates.
Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., conferred about 250 graduate and undergraduate degrees during the 3 p.m. ceremony at the Dothan Civic Center
Chesteen said his tips were the same ones that guided him during his campaign.
“These tips have been tested the old-fashioned way, through trial and error,” he said. “These are the same three that I used when I began my campaign as a newcomer to politics, not knowing what is out there other than hard work.”
First, Chesteen advised graduates to never forget who they are and where they came from.
“Very simply, always be yourself,” Chesteen said. “To find lasting satisfaction in what you do, you need to understand that each of you has your own unique pattern. Shift your focus away from your weaknesses and on to what it is that you do really well.”
Chesteen also urged graduates to never comprise in their beliefs, even when facing difficulties.
“All of us are born with certain core values that are enduring to us,” he said. “Whatever you do, wherever you go, if you can do that one simple thing—do what’s right—you will never have to worry about the consequences.”
Finally, Chesteen encouraged graduates to always do their best.
“Find your passion in life, find out what drives you and don’t be afraid to take the challenge,” he said.
Chesteen is a former teacher and football coach at both Geneva High School in Hartford and Geneva County High School in Geneva and is retired from a career in medical sales.
He currently serves as head football coach at Samson High School.