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Dan Marino's message: Give of yourself

Remarks from the Football Hall of Famer at the University of Pittsburgh's commencement in April.

May 5, 2008

Giving back: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, right, introduces Dan Marino, cochair of the state's task force on autism.

Phil Coale/AP

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At the University of Pittsburgh's commencement, Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino told students: "Go after your passion," "nurture your relationships," and "touch someone's life in a positive way." Here are excerpts from his speech:

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My dad never graduated from college, but he knew what the real world was all about. It was about family, hard work, and passion for what you do. He'd always say, "You only get out of life what you put into it." Little did he or I know, the real world today would be a technology-driven society full of computers, text messaging, e-mails, video games, multitasking, and my personal favorite, YouTube.

But the core values of life and success remain the same: hard work, passion, integrity. And, most important, family.

In fact, before this day is over, make sure you thank your parents. The best way to thank them is to make use of the degree that you've worked so hard for. And, to me, one of the most important things is to find what you love to do. Go after your passion. If you love your life's work, the financial reward will take care of itself.

I also urge you to make a difference in your community. Wherever life takes you, give something back. It doesn't have to be money. Give your time. Give your expertise. Give something of yourself.

I played 17 years in the NFL and set every passing record possible. You know what? A lot of them have been broken. But when you touch someone's life in a positive way, it lasts forever.

So 25 years from now ... don't look back and say, "I wish I had...." You want to look back and say, "I worked hard and followed my dreams. I made a difference in people's lives."

Then you will have peace of mind no matter what you achieve in life.

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