Ronnie Barnes, the New York Giants’ long-time senior vice president of medical services and head athletic trainer, recently delivered the keynote address at the spring commencement ceremony at his alma mater, East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina.

Barnes, who has worked for the Giants for nearly 15 years in various capacities, imparted some of the wisdom he gathered from his years with Big Blue.

“One lesson I’ve learned throughout my own journey is this: Resilience is not merely the ability to endure hardships, but it’s the power to transform those hardships into opportunities for growth,” Barnes told ECU’s graduating class of 2024 of approximately 3,800 students. “I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most resilient individuals in professional sports. From players overcoming career-threatening injuries to coaches strategizing in the face of adversity, I’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative power of resilience.

“But resilience is not reserved solely for the gridiron or the playing field, as you well know. It’s a quality that transcends boundaries and empowers us to confront the challenges of everyday life with courage and determination. It’s what enables us to pick ourselves up when we stumble, to push through the pain when it seems insurmountable, and to emerge stronger and more resilient on the other side. As you embark on this next chapter of your lives, I urge you to embrace the challenges that lie ahead with the same resilience and the same determination that has brought you to this very moment.”

Barnes graduated from ECU in 1975 and began working for the Giants shortly after. He has been around for all four of the franchise’s Super Bowl triumphs, including Super Bowl XLII when “resiliency” was their mantra.

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