Columbus, Miss. â€” During her two keynote commencement addresses to the Mississippi University for Womenâ€™s class of 2009, business leader and education advocate Mary Peavey encouraged the graduates to recognize their unique gifts and talents, develop them relentlessly and give back to the world.
Peavey also shared her experiences in business and life and the inspiring story of Peavey Electronicsâ€”one of the worldâ€™s largest manufacturers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment, founded by her husband, Hartley Peavey, and still based in Meridian under the original ownership.
â€œDonâ€™t be fearful of failure,â€? Peavey, President of Peavey Electronics Corporation, told the graduates. â€œBoth Hartley and I have faced difficulty many times during our lives. You will find that every challenge and every failure makes you a stronger, more complete person.
â€œWe have a motto for how we approach business at Peavey: â€˜We never turn it down.â€™ You may not get the gift you want, but in recognizing that gift and applying to it your total dedicationâ€”by â€˜never turning it downâ€™â€”you will succeed and fulfill your purpose in life.
â€œAlways remember to give back to your community however you can,â€? she added. â€œâ€˜To whom much is given, much is expected.â€™ You are expected to take your degree and use it to make the world a better place.â€?
During the ceremony, Peavey accepted the Medal of Excellence from MUW President Dr. Claudia Limbert, and presented her with a one-of-a-kind Peavey Custom Shop guitar designed with the university seal to commemorate the event.
Raised in Starkville as a sixth-generation Mississippian, Peavey oversees the business growth and development of Peavey Electronics Corporation in more than 130 countries. Peavey and its MediaMatrixÂ®, Architectural AcousticsÂ®, Crest AudioÂ® and Trace ElliotÂ® brands engineer the audio systems that power thousands of stadiums, theme parks, airports and other venues around the world.
Peavey donates her time to education and afterschool programs, including The Kennedy Center Partners in Education and Carnegie Hall LinkUP in partnership with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. She also developed a program to bring field-trip experiences to students in Meridian and Lauderdale County. During the 2008-2009 school year, Peavey Electronics funded 12 elementary school field trips to cultural and educational experiences across the state, from the Jackson Zoo and Mississippi Museum of Natural Science to the MSU Riley Center for the Performing Arts in Meridian.
Peavey serves on the national board of directors for the Afterschool Alliance and developed the award-winning Peavey Afterschool (Not) Idleâ„¢ program, a singing competition for students enrolled in grades K-12, as a way to engage the community in after school advocacy while encouraging youngsters to develop and pursue their talents.
Founded in 1965, PeaveyÂ® is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment. Peavey has earned more than 180 patents and produces more than 2,000 products, which are distributed throughout the United States and to 136 other countries. Peavey and its MediaMatrixÂ®, Architectural AcousticsÂ®, PVDJÂ®, Crest AudioÂ® and Trace ElliotÂ® brands and affiliates can be found on concert stages and in more than 5,000 airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues around the world. To find out more, visit www.peavey.com.