Marley & Me Author Imparts Wisdom to Graduates

He is best known as the #1 best-selling author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog, but on May 23 John Grogan was most sought-after for his wisdom. Grogan delivered a stirring, compassionate keynote address to nearly 300 graduates as part of Mount Mercy’s commencement exercises.

Grogan’s humorous and heartfelt Commencement speech, titled “Write What is in Your Heart, Success will Follow,” urged Mount Mercy graduates to follow their dreams and aspire to greatness. Grogan recounted his own life journey to fulfill his dream of writing a book that would not only top the charts, but change people’s lives. He looked for inspiration everywhere before he finally realized it was right in front of him, literally sitting at his feet. His dog, Marley, brought challenges and hurdles to his small family, but through Marley’s hyperactivity and attention deficit-disorder, Grogan discovered the true meaning of life, love, and loyalty. Grogan encouraged graduates that they, too, can fulfill their dreams. He urged them not to listen to the naysayers and cynics who do not believe in them, but to follow their hearts and do what they really want to do.

Marley & Me recounts the hilarious and heartfelt moments of Grogan’s 13 years with a loopy Labrador retriever. The instant bestseller has captured the hearts of millions and has reached the top of every chart in the U.S., including the #1 spot on The New York Times Best-Seller list for four months. It was recently made into a film, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston.

Grogan was joined on the dais by senior Michael Kaduce ’09, a biology major and chemistry minor from Des Moines, Iowa, who offered the student address to his fellow classmates.