Speaking to an audience of students, faculty, students and friends, Sampson encouraged the graduating class to remember the acronym “MAP.” He said it stands for “motivation,” “attitude” and “plan” (as in have a good game plan).
Motivation means, “being self-motivated to get a good education, [to] do well at work with your career and [be a] success no matter what you do,” he said. “It makes sense, right?”
“The next letter in ‘MAP’ is ‘a,’ [for] ‘attitude,’” he said. “You can have a bad attitude; you can have a good attitude. But depending on how your attitude is will create your altitude, and your success and how far you go,” he said.
Sampson said a person’s plan can take different forms, but it always starts with someone who came before. “Your parents had a plan when they gave you life. They wanted children. They took you to dance recitals, classes, basketball practices, baseball practice when you were younger and helped you get to college and help you get here today. It could be uncles, aunts, grandparents. No matter who it is, they helped you get here today,” he said.
“Mom and Dad won’t be there to wake you up for class or see you out the door to your new job,” Sampson added. “Of course, you’ll always come home and have that chicken dinner at home. That’ll be good on Sundays,” he said.
But what is your plan, he asked?
One thing he said the graduates should do is stay connected with UVA. “As you leave every year, you get disconnected to your school,” Sampson said of graduates. But it doesn’t have to be that way, he pointed out. There are UVA alumni chapters across the nation and around the world.
Sampson said he himself “got disconnected over the years” because of playing professional basketball for 10 years in the NBA.