Country Artist Hardy Gives Inspiring Commencement Speech at MTSU

MTSU photo by Andy Heidt

Country artist Hardy gave the commencement speech on Saturday, May 4th, at Middle Tennessee State University, his alma mater.

Hardy shared that he is believed to be the youngest alumnus at age 33 to return to campus to give a commencement speech.

During his speech, he told the students not to be afraid to say yes, sharing how an encounter with a new songwriter led to opportunities in his career that he couldn’t have imagined. Stating, “There is a very big chance that none of that would have happened if I had not said yes to my friend Morgan Wallen back in 2016,” he said. “My point is this: Don’t be afraid to say yes to an opportunity just because you don’t think you will see an immediate result. You never know where your successes will come from. … Take a chance on yourself.”

Hardy also cautioned students on when to say no and spoke of his mental health. He stated, “Stand up for yourself when the time comes, and if your gut is ever telling you to stand up for yourself, go with your gut every single time,” he said. “And when you do that, you gain pride, and when you gain pride, you gain self-confidence, and self-confidence is fuel for success.”

In 2013, Hardy graduated from MTSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Since graduation, he has written or co-written 15 number-one hits that include “Up Down” with Morgan Wallen,  “God’s Country,” and “Wait in the Truck” with Lainey Wilson.

Listen to the entire speech below.


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