Buena Vista, VA - Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the commencement speaker at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista Saturday morning.
SVU is the only private liberal arts college for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Romney's overall advice was for students to take opportunities and chances in life. He focused on family, work and God.
"Each of you can live an eminently successfully, rewarding, abundant life," said Romney in his speech.
He started with the secret to reaching that abundant life. Using a metaphor from the Bible, Romney asked students to take a leap.
"He said this: 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets.," quoted Romney.
He said it's important to "launch deep" into marriage, children and future occupations.
Spencer Briggs was one of the seniors graduating. He said all those things are important to him.
"He told us to really challenge ourselves to be the best we can be and to take risks and not be afraid to fail I guess in the future."
The married pre-dental student says his favorite part was Romney's focus on family.
"Well, getting married is one way of launching into the deep," said Romney, laughing.
"Our little son just turned 1 year old, so that really applied to me. And obviously it made me feel good that someone recognized that as being important," said Briggs.
Romney also gave some professional advice --encouraging students to be passionate about their jobs.
"Go beyond what's expected or required. And in doing so, by the way, you will learn the secret to advancement. And that is doing your present job well."
But he saved the most important task for last. He reminded the crowd, mostly made of members of LDS Church, that serving God is the main goal.
"The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best, but never your all. Reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it," said Romney.
The university gave Romney an honorary degree before his speech.