The first is that I am leaving this job in very capable hands. I’ve known incoming dean Eric Johnson for a long time and have full confidence that he will be a great leader for this school. Thanks to the extraordinary talent, commitment, time and resources of many people who are reading this, we have brought Owen to a high level of achievement, and we are all excited to see what the next era brings.
Second, I wanted to add to what Owen alumnus Doug Parker (MBA ’86) talked about in his Commencement address when he discussed the importance of relationships. For me, attitude is just as important as — and goes hand-in-hand with — the idea that “relationships matter.” Whether you’re just starting your career or if you’re a seasoned executive, you have an obligation to be a leader. As a leader, you are the one who must set a positive example. Lead by example, set high standards for yourself and those around you. As a member of the Owen Community, I ask that you always do so with an attitude of courage and confidence, of achievement and humility.
I paraphrased the first line of this Ralph Waldo Emerson poem at Commencement, but allow me to indulge more fully:
“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
All the best,