Spring Daze brings Tyson Wooters

Students filled the Student Union Theater on Thursday, April 14, to see Tyson Wooters, one of the mascots for Oregon University, speak about leadership. Wooters, the “Oregon duck” from 1999 to 2003, talked about how he became a mascot, his experiences and his career in music education before becoming an inspirational speaker and how it all correlated with leadership and unity.

He divided the speech into four sections:  membership, ownership, stewardship and leadership. He opened first with an exercise involving the crowd, where Wooters would lift his hand up, and the audience clapped. After several attempts, Wooters started his speech. Wooters initially talked of how he stumbled across the part-time job of becoming a mascot and afterwards showed a video of him cheering at football games.

After the short video finished, Wooters went on to talk about his experiences as a mascot, which involved scaring a child while performing at a wrestling tournament and another instance when he made a child happy.

“If I want credit – if I want her to know who delivered this happiness today for her, and I lift the head up so she can see who I am, what’s going to happen? She’s going to freak,” said Wooters in his speech.

That story inspired the title of the speech, “Always Wear Your Head.” After Wooters was finished speaking of his experiences as a mascot, he turned to his career as a band director for a new high school in Salem, Oregon. In order to run the new band, he was very strict, almost to a military level, according to Wooters.

He again tied the respect the students had for him into the main topic of the speech: leadership. Wooters finished the speech by showing that any organization needs leadership, but pointed out the case of Greek sororities and fraternities, appealing to the majority of the crowd. After the speech, Wooters talked about his career as a speaker.

“It was almost by accident. I was working at a high school leadership camp for band students and they gave me a one hour seminar in the afternoon one time, and I felt like I could do it at that point,” said Wooters.

The audience left feeling positive about the message.

“It was really good. It was definitely encouraging to bring to any organization, not only Greek organizations,” said SGA President-elect Luke Holloway. “I’m definitely excited about the turnout here. I think that this is something Southeastern needs because I feel we need to live by what our organizations represent because a lot of times we think our organization is about ourselves, when it’s really about what the organization stands for.”