Westminster graduates advised Saturday to take responsibility, avoid blaming others

Don Tomnitz of Dallas, president of D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's largest home construction firm, delivers the commencement address Saturday to graduates of Westminster College in Fulton. He is a 1970 graduate of Westminster.

Don Tomnitz of Dallas, president of D.R. Horton Inc., the nation's largest home construction firm, delivers the commencement address Saturday to graduates of Westminster College in Fulton. He is a 1970 graduate of Westminster. Photo by Don Norfleet.

Take responsibility and don’t blame others, graduating seniors at Westminster College in Fulton were urged Saturday by the president of the nation’s largest home building firm.

Don Tomnitz, president and CEO of D.R. Horton, Inc., of Dallas, the nation’s largest home construction firm and a 1970 Westminster graduate, said he cherishes the four years he spent at Westminster.

“The best years of your life are ahead of you. Your success depends on you own efforts. You are your own chief executive officer. Don’t let other people make decisions about your future. Learn from your mistakes and don’t make excuses,” Tomnitz said.

He told the students they need to learn to follow before they can lead. “You must be independent and self-supportive. Don’t rely on the government to take care of you,” he said.

The most important thing to remember in life, he said, is to be honest and tell the truth.

“Don’t drink to excess and stay away from drugs. A drunk cannot succeed and drugs can kill you,” he said.

“As your own CEO,” Tomnitz said, “your first task is to get a job,” promoting applause from parents in the auditorium.

Tomnitz has been named three times as one of the best chief executive officers in the United States by Institutional Investor magazine. He also has been included in the Associated Press CEO “Winners” list. Tomnitz was listed as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Real Estate by Bloomberg Business Week in 2010.

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