Keynote address in Student Center can ‘make [goals and dreams] a reality’

By Tierra Carpenter

Keynote speaker Mitch Matthews will host his “Big Dream Gathering” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Center Ballroom D to help students, faculty and alumni “make [goals and dreams] a reality,” according to the event flyer.

The presentation, sponsored by the Student Programming Council and Saluki Cents Financial Literacy Team, is meant to gives students strategies for developing their life objectives, Matthews said.

“A lot of times people will come to the event not being sure what their dreams and goals are,” Matthews said. “They tell us time and time again one of the biggest things that happens is they start to actually get clarity.”


The keynote starts with an inspirational address from Matthews, who has been giving this talk since 2006. Following this, the audience will write their dreams on pieces of paper, post them on the wall and walk around making comments on other dreams to encourage others and give advice and suggestions, Matthews said.

Kelsey Merritt, a senior studying fashion merchandising at Kent State University who participated in the keynote last year, said seeing everyone else’s dreams was her favorite part.

“I loved walking around for a solid hour reading everybody else’s dreams, commenting on as many as I could,” Merritt said. “I got excited for other people that had similar goals, or things that I have already done and seeing that they had the dream to do the same thing.”

Merritt went into the dream gathering with a bucket list of over 300 items, and the keynote inspired her to follow through with her goals, she said.

Sree Karrie, a University of Wisconsin Milwaukee graduate who attended the gathering in 2014, said it also helped him clarify his aspirations.

After hearing Matthews speak, Karrie and his brother began working on making their own film, something he said they are both passionate about.

“It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do, but it was a great experience,” Karrie said. “We learned a lot from it.”


Jordee Justice, SIU’s financial literacy coordinator, said she wanted to bring Matthews to campus so students here can have similar experiences.

“It’s always great to make new contacts,” Justice said. “Some dreams that a student may have, maybe this is the perfect event to put them in touch with someone to make that dream happen.”

Students interested in attending the Big Dream Gathering should arrive at the Student Center by 6:15 p.m. for registration.

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] or @tierramc_.

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