“Quite frankly, you will meet some knuckleheads,” Anthony Rohr told the Thomas More Prep-Marian High School graduating class of 2019.
Rohr, a 1980 graduate of the Hays Catholic school, told the students in his commencement address Sunday in Al Billinger Fieldhouse that what they learned at TMP-Marian will help them succeed in life.
As they continue their educations, they will be responsible for getting themselves up and getting to class, he said, “and that scares everybody. Because there’s so many times everybody else has been around you to help and now you get to do it."
“And you’re going to be around some people that are, quite frankly, pretty strange, and you’ve got to rely upon everything you learned here, both in terms of your parents, your faculty, how to address that, how to deal with what’s going to happen the rest of your life,” he said.
Rohr said the lessons in leadership he learned at TMP are what helped him get through his architectural education at the University of Kansas and starting his career.
Today, he is the national managing principal of Kansas City-based design and planning firm Gould Evans, overseeing the company’s eight offices and 210 employees in six states. He joined the firm in 1995.
He has been involved in projects including the Truman Presidential Library expansion, St. Teresa’s Academy Windmoor Center in Kansas City, Mo., and the KU Earth, Energy and Environment Center.
He told the graduates he spends much of his time thinking about what is coming next in architectural practice, explaining how in his career, he has seen design go from hand-drawn plans to software that uses algorithms and 3-D printers. Artificial intelligence is on the horizon, he said.
Every industry has to be ready for how technology is changing, he said.
“You need to be prepared to think about that. What I might plead to you is to be adept and always learning, and always trying new things and always exploring and being aware of what’s happening around you because it will affect your opportunities for the future,” he said.