As generations of fraternity alumni poured in, students gathered in the Bush auditorium to attend a keynote speaker presentation organized by the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Zeta Phi chapter. As part of their recurring series TKE Talks, the Rollins chapter invites speakers to the community to share their wisdom. According to Myles Long (‘24), president of the Zeta Phi chapter and assistant director of the event, the TKE Talk series was formalized by the Zeta Phi TKE alumni non-profit foundation to promote the educational pursuits of Rollins Students.
Organized by Long and Kobe Michail (‘26), TKE welcomed Rollins alum, B. Scott Smith (‘91), to be their second speaker in the series on Jan. 30. Former CEO of Sonic Automotive, a Fortune 300 company, Smith was a re-founding member of Rollins’ TKE chapter and is now an active member of the TKE Alumni Association. In conversation with Smith was David Michail (‘93), a Rollins alum and current board member of the Zeta Phi TKE Foundation.
Before introducing the speaker, Michail explained that the TKE Talk series is meant to inspire people, transform them from their limited beliefs to help them become the people they want to be, and act to change the course of their life.
This rationale spells out the slogan for TKE Talks: Inspire, Transform, Act. According to Michail, TKE is committed to organizing these talks for the Rollins community with the goal of teaching people something they would not learn in a classroom.
Smith explained that as a college student, he had a desire to lead people. Upon becoming the first President of the reinstated chapter, the speaker had his members read texts on leadership and ran TKE like a business in order to hold responsibility and accountability for the chapter. He shared that the knowledge they were reading about turned into personal wisdom as they began to apply the literature to the practices of the Zeta Phi chapter.
Once Smith entered the automobile sector, he applied his leadership skills to running his own business. He explained that his favorite part as a leader was seeing people succeed through developing, growing, and achieving their goals.
Smith emphasized that his experience in leadership reflected his relationship with others in the industry. He explained, “The people that progress the fastest are the people who are constantly lifting others.”
Michail added to Smith’s insight, saying “To be an effective leader, you need to know how to deal with human beings.”
With an impressive turnout at the event, Long spoke about his hope for the future of TKE talks. He plans to make this an annual event for the entire Rollins community, and he hopes that every student will take advantage of these opportunities in the future. He also explained that the most prominent benefit of attending a TKE Talk is self-development, as these events target topics that aim to help students grow in their personal and professional lives.
At the conclusion of the event, Michail shared that TKE Talks are for students to learn practical life skills that will give them a competitive edge. He wants them to be inspired to fulfill their greatness. Smith also shared that it was an honor and a privilege for him to be invited back to Rollins to share his story and experience in entering the business sector.
Students felt similarly about the positive effects of attending such an event. Grace King (‘25) said, “The TKE talk was a great example of why people choose Rollins. Being able to connect one-on- one-with successful alumni and hear how their time in college and how their campus involvements impacted their success as an individual is an invaluable part of the Rollins experience.”
“We are thrilled at the success of this event, and hope that the Rollins community will continue to show their support for our future plans,” added Long.
Smith is available for questions via email at email@example.com.