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Play to Win Keith Daly Tells Springfield College Grads

May 17, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 17, 2009 – Keith T. Daly, president and chief executive officer of Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Footaction USA, divisions of Foot Locker, Inc., told Springfield College graduates today that they will need to prove that they're worthy of keeping an entry level job by showing the commitment and dedication that employers demand, which means "playing to win versus playing not to lose."

"Playing to win requires a full commitment, especially today. It's giving 100 percent to go as far as you can with all that you have. In the current workplace, it may mean being the first one in in the morning, and the last one to leave at night. You have to be willing to stand up, stand out, and stand alone." he said.

"Playing not to lose requires little or no commitment. It's a situation where you might lose, you might fail, so you're at risk, and you play it safe. It's being content just blend in and not stand out…It is leaving it up to chance to determine your future. Today, playing not to lose is a way to get out on the sideline."

"'I'll try' is not good enough. 'I'll do my best' is not good enough. 'I'll do whatever it takes' is what's needed. That's what playing to win is all about," he said.

Daly told graduates that the keys to career success in today's uncertain economy are to keep their options open; challenge themselves to pursue the impossible; play to win; and have dreams, hopes and inspirations about goals to achieve in life.

At the 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, the college awarded honorary doctor of humanics degrees to Daly, Helen Davis Blake, James Frank, and James E. Walsh. The college has, historically, awarded honorary degrees to a few outstanding individuals who, by their character and accomplishments, personify the college's guiding philosophy, humanics. The philosophy emphasizes the dedication of spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.

In today's ceremonies, the college awarded 712 bachelor's degrees. Yesterday morning, the college awarded 391 master's degrees, four certificates of advanced graduate study, and two doctoral degrees in ceremonies on Naismith Green on the Springfield campus.

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