Well thank you so much for having me tonight and thank you to the foundation for inviting to me say a few words. I am truly humbled to be here, especially in this room surrounded by those who give back so much to Shippensburg. For those who don’t know me, I’m Jon Moats – a 2010 grad from Shippensburg University. I was a non-traditional student during my time at Ship meaning I wasn’t between the age of 18-21. In 2000 I decided as a 17-year-old high school student to join the Army. When I went into the Army we were largely at peace around the world. 9/11 had not happened yet. I was stationed in Germany during 9/11 an event which would eventually lead to two tours in Iraq and an additional year of service than my original contract obligation. When I got out in 2005, unlike most young people who are trying to get away from mom and dad after high school to go to college, I was trying stay close to home and spend time with family that I had missed so dearly for the last 5 years.
Shippensburg University immediately accepted me with open arms and I went all in on Shippensburg University. I declared Finance as my major as a Freshman. I was in the University Honors Program. I was on the College of Business Student Advisory board. I was the Vice President for Beta Gamma Sigma. I was a student in the Investment Management Program which is a student run class of a real dollar portfolio now valued at over $200 thousand dollars. I was a recipient of the Harold and Helen Crouse Scholarship. I had the privilege of meeting Helen the year I received it before she passed away and in small way I’d like to think I’m a part of Harold and Helen’s legacy.
I graduated in 2010 and started my career at Volvo Construction Equipment where I had an internship at the time. I stayed at Volvo until 2014 when I moved to Washington D.C. to attend Grad school at the George Washington University. I graduated with my MBA from GW and married my wife Courtney who is here with me tonight in 2017. I now work in Corporate Finance at Capital One in Tysons Corner Virginia and live not too far away in Aldie, Virginia. I come back to interact with our great students as often as I can. I’ve spoken to students at “welcome” Open Houses, Deans List receptions and the College of Business Foundations of Business Admin class. I’m the Vice Chair of the Finance Advisory Council and come back to talk to our Investment Management Program students at least 3 times a year. I’d probably just stand in the middle of campus and hand out stickers if they’d let me.
As I was thinking tonight about the answer to the question “why do I give back,” it occurred to me I don’t have a knock it out of the park answer to that other than this; Shippensburg University was a special place to me. It IS a special place to me. It’s different here. It’s unique here. There’s something in water here. I’ve been to other Universities. I have friends from Universities of all Divisions all over the country and none of them have a relationship with their Alma Mater like I do with mine. If I can try to help make sure that some future Jon Moats get to enjoy that same specialness that I got to experience, well, that’s why I give back. I think the people in this room understand that. I thank you for that and I sincerely thank you for having me tonight.