By WU Student, Delaney Elder

As a university who has admitted students from far and wide, it’s translated to a wonderful mix of cultures within our campus in small town Lake Wales, Fla. Even still, there is something a little special about attending a university not too far from home.

It only adds to the sentimental value your hometown already has, especially if you happen to be a student carrying on the legacy your parents, and maybe even grandparents, have already set in place. 

Benjamin Davis, who graduated in 2013, is a Warner legacy student. His parents walked across that graduation stage long before he did and truly inspired him to strive for similar success. 

Headshot of man

With a bachelor’s degree in business administration, you’d never guess his position now as an Engineering Technologist for outdoor lighting at Duke Energy. A usual day on the job for Davis looks like receiving requests from customers for outdoor lighting and then visiting those sites to design the layout of the outdoor lighting so it’s all good to go for installation. 

Even though his degree wasn’t the typical straight route to his current position, Davis says that he owes it to his previous experience. As a student in high school and for a time after, he worked at Disney as well as varying county businesses. Experience proved to be a valuable asset as he went through college and joined the workforce. So far, he’s been at Duke Energy in this position for two years and loves it. 

Not to mention his involvement in the 2019 Emerging Leaders Program at the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. It’s a rigorous program for select individuals who’ve executed a high level of civic engagement in their community, and show promise for future development as leaders in their county.

Getting to attend Warner was definitely something special for Ben. To receive an education while following in his parents’ footsteps all the while being able to stay in touch with his hometown community was not an experience taken for granted. Ben earned his degree which, along with his experience, landed him a great job and established solid friendships he still keeps in touch with today. He also mentioned a certain influential role model for him as a student at Warner by the title Professor Kathy Lewis-Brim, for pushing him as a student to always do better.

Man with dog

Back as a student in his college courses, Ben had thought that one day he’d be working as a sports agent for professional athletes. Yet today as he looks over his life now with his lovely wife, toddler, and a pair of twins on the way, he is nothing short of thankful.

family looking away in fieldFamily in field

A personal favorite quote he would like to share is one from Charles Schwab:

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”