Paul McCartney inspires Rollins College students with talk

By Margaret Kavanagh, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, October 24, 2014, 5:19 AM EDT

In a small chapel on the Rollins College campus Thursday, students were inspired by a music legend.

Sir Paul McCartney spoke to students at the Winter Park college.

Rollins College Public Relations said McCartney requested Knowles Chapel because it was an intimate setting.

"He walked down and I'm like 'oh my goodness. It's Paul McCartney'," said Lillian Carter.

The school held a lottery for students to get tickets to the event. Of the 3,200 students at Rollins, only 600 won tickets.

Students who got to see The Beatles alumnus said he talked about his early days in the music business, working with the other Beatles.

"Talking about how he got started in it and singing and his relationship with Ringo Starr," said Adam Bermudez.

"He talked about writing with John [Lennon] and how sometimes you just need another opinion," Carter said.

We're told McCartney also sang "Blackbird."

McCartney was asked to come by Billy Collins, the famous poet. Collins isn't a professor but he gives lectures at the college.

School leaders described the event as a conversation with students about lyrics, poetry, music and the creative process.

"A lot of life advice," Amy Zdon said McCartney imparted. "Like if you are in the creative process, keep trying."

Several students said their parents were jealous.

"I know my parents were so pumped that I got to go because they are huge Beatles fans and Paul fans and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever," said Katie Wookey.

Most students we talked to said they left inspired and touched by his words.

"He said keep trying and trying and trying and never give up," Bermudez said.

This isn't his first visit to Rollins College. He also visited the campus in September 2011. His stepson attends the school.

McCartney also was in Orlando in May 2013 when he kicked off the North American leg of his "Out There" tour in Orlando with two shows at the Amway Center.

After the talk at Rollins College McCartney and family had dinner at Luma on Park.

McCartney is performing in Jacksonville Saturday night. Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr was in Melbourne Wednesday.