Orange County Register

Challenge: 'Great Personal Innovators'

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui had unusual advice Saturday for graduates at Cal State Fullerton.

“We should be ready to cut hair,” Lui said.

Lui was keynote speaker for the first half of the university’s commencement ceremony, which has been split into two days to accommodate this year’s class of nearly 11,000 graduates.

Lui explained to Saturday’s crowd of some 5,000 graduates and 30,000 supporters that his grandfather was a poor farmer in China. When his grandfather got to San Francisco in 1909, he took his experience using a machete in the field and turned himself into a successful barber, with photos of politicians and celebrities who’d become clients soon hanging on the wall of his shop.

Lui never met his grandfather. When his grandmother died, the tombstone she’d commissioned revealed a secret: The family’s true last name was Wong. Lui’s grandfather had come to the United States illegally, buying a new name and identity so he could change the course of his family’s future.

“Be great personal innovators going forward,” Lui said, encouraging students to be open to reinventing themselves so they can follow their passions. Continue reading.

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