tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 31, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
you don't know if they do has been doctored or not. the rule of thumb is that if you play it and you can get somebody from the government to comment on it, they will comment on. if you can't get somebody from the government to comment on it because the government is boycotting you, you get somebody who is close to the government come in the case of the middle east, there's a whole plethora of persons and news people who are willing to vouch for the government. ..
>> the assumption is one or the other. [laughter] >> well, if he was still there. >> the assumption is that you have, while getting it to safety, getting the story to safety, the assumption is you have made many mistakes, but hopefully because you got it to safety, you haven't put jr. credibility on the line or botched the story. >> but the answer to part of this is multiple sources. can you call other people, talk to other people validating it, but this goes to the central issue which we wrestle with in our business all the time, how good is our product? i would argue our product is only as good as the depth and comprehensiveness of our reporting, and that you have to,
as you know, so often, it's not that you gamble in journalism, but let instinct direct you to a certain extent and say, oh, that sounds right, and the reporting you people did in egypt, it had -- it smelled right. it felt right. that wasn't proof, and you kept going, and then there was more and more evidence, and then as you point out. the president stepped down which is a monumental event. >> yeah. >> almost inconceivable event, but i remember talking to al gore, the vice president for clinton once, and asking how much do we know about what goes on of consequence or interest, and this was after clinton left office, and he said we only know 1%, and my thought was i must
confess, is it 1%? is it possible that there's that many women in the clinton white house we don't know about? [laughter] >> let's take another question, please. thank you very much. please. >> i'm working with global integrity here in washington. i want to ask the journalist from pakistan and the rest of the panelists that you mentioned before criticized or anything negative about the military or any other government officials is dangerous for you. my question would be how do you know how far you can go when most of the time reporting something, you know, a lot of time it implies something negative, and how has social media really help journalists do that. a lot of times, bloggers seem to be daring more, seem tog willing to go further, but not have the audience that the media has.
has does that help you? do you think that maybe other countries where democracy is, you know, are more difficult conditions, social media might be more helpful there that it will be here so it might be harder to discard in those countries that it would be here. >> thank you for that question. you can abuse the politicians as much as you want and i think you hit the nail on the head. one of the advantages of having citizens and social media is that professional journalists can start testing, and the way we test is we do the reporting, we talk about something we read online or talk about something someone tweeted. that way we are not held responsible for the content and bringing into the public. an anonymous blogger or a twitter feed with a nickname or something becomes the subject of the scrutiny.
because places like pakistan, the government hasn't really figured out, you know, hacking, ip address tracking skills just yet, and we can talk a little bit later how they are trying very hard to do that, so it has definitely opened the public's sphere and this realm of conversation we can have in the mainstream media about several issues. another example quickly. many people remember there was a moment in 2009 when an extremist group took over and they were imposing islamic law, and no one really knew, you know, civil society was not mobilizing, the government had sort of bowed down to this extremist group, and their requirements, and then, again, a video was released that showed them flogging a young girl for some alleged misconduct, and it was an anonymous source captured on a mobile phone, distributed and picked up by the mainstream press. by that stage, journalists were
not able to go into the area because it was unsafe, but once the video was out, we could immediately start the conversation that was a valiant cry saying this is what is happening. we can't verify it yet, but let's talk about what we can do about it. it does talk about what the boundaries could be for us. >> before talking to bob, the risks about blogging. bloggers, you work in an environment which is clearly a dangerous environment where professional journalists are killed. >> this kind of environment allows people to kill those, not just journalists, those who try to expose the truth, to criticize the sources, to find out information which is not really convenient. >> do you see bloggers taking risks?
>> it's not typical for russia, but it shows how -- what kind of problem we have and which is actually our russian federation that at the same time by its own laws and that the leader of the president can amize things that nobody can and i was talking about a blogger who was doing some facts that they didn't like, and this blogger was put on trial in moscow actually, and then he was captured from moscow and put on trial again, and now nobody knows what has happened with him. >> he's disappeared? >> yeah, but more usual way to
deal with the people who are trying to work as a civil journalist is to tell him there's a special law which allows authorities to sort people and throw them in prison for journal ism and what they consider any criticism against them. >> if we had that law in the united states, half the politicians would be in jail. [laughter] >> well, it's a big issue in russia, and we're trying right now, probably the internet would be the first in russia. i would say some words about russian interpret. you're talking a lot those days about theater. because -- >> the equivalent or -- >> yeah, but social nets like
russian social networks, facebook is getting more popular in russia, twitter also, but what we have is live journal, talking about us and i'm calling them bloggers, because they are the people who have their own work on live journalist, and those things are becoming really powerful in russia because for the latest two years, president of russia actually never paid attention on what the major newspapers or professional journalists said, but he paid several times attention and showed reaction, a very strange reaction to what the bloggers actually wrote in the internet,
and this is amazing because the changes that's happened with russia media for the last 10 years, thanks to president putin, internet now takes role of this, and as i understand for several independent media sources, professional media sources, # is the only way to survive and influence the life of russian people is to join the russian internet and would have results and the russian people, and this is amazing, but about the investigation, the bloggers or the civil journalists who actually trying to investigate things, the investigation is an interesting thing. you never actually -- the way you do it, you never know when
to stop because you want to go to the end to find out what happens, to find the outcome. there is a risk. professionals understand it. there are those trying to investigate on themself, and they don't know it. it's dangerous in russia or pakistan or any other not free countries. >> well, let me -- the question to you was a question about whether social media might have greater utility or be more useful where press freedoms are less developed. >> they both answered that and proven it, so -- >> thank you. [laughter] >> i'm samuel. how do you maintain a relationship with high government professionals? there's a lot of books, do you take them for lunch? [laughter]
>> how do you maintain such excellent relations with such high government officials especially when you write things that are critical. >> how do you maintain authoritarian government, and one more question. when should we speak about the story of mouhammad. >> i just have the luxury of time to get documentation, notes, and then go back and sift through it, and the goal probably never met, is neutral inquiry. i'm not carrying water for one party or to one group of people, and they may not like somebody coming in doing, you know, discussing obama's wars or bush's wars or whatever, but you get to a certain point where
you've got so much information, and i think that power here is the information, the detail on last wednesday, you met and had this discussion and so and so said, you know, let's launch the operation poppy takeover, the invasion of mexico. that's only hypothetical by the way. [laughter] if the detail and the specificity and then just convincing people, look, i want to describe what happened, and that, with, you know, 18 months or two years to work on one of these projects or one of these books makes all the difference in the world. >> just before i turn here, let me ask you, watergate took place
over a period of many, many months. >> two years. >> do you think in today's digital age where there is -- there is a demand indeed for every bit of information, every bit of breaking news out on the net, on your front page of the net as soon as you possibly can, do you think the kind of reporting that you did then would a, be possible now, or b, would have the same impact? >> what drives the media in this country are two things -- impatience and speed. all i am is patient, and i'm really slow. [laughter] you just have to accept that and say, you know, we have a saying at the "washington post" all good work is done in defiance of management. [laughter] in that view, recognize that your organization, any organization, not just a news media, you need -- it's not
break the law or break the rules, but it's pushing from below. this is what we need to cover. this is getting the little thread on the sock which is what that vehicle code was what happened in egypt, what happens in russia, and just following on it and continuing so the -- you talk to journalism classes i've done and people say, well, watergate, well deep throat would be on the internet. no, he would not, not a chance. the confidential sources that you can develop are personal. you establish a relationship of trust hopefully, and it's not available to anyone, and in fact, you are the only one who has it, and so you have to keep those relationships going, so it's -- what i was stumbling towards saying, you know, the
new digital media and everything that's going on, obviously it's created a convulsion in the countries and in the news business, but the old picnics still apply. it's just like when television came out and people said, oh, that's the end of movies. well, guess what, it's not. it's supplemental. it adds to it in a very significant way, and you all educated me specifically about in your countries how, i mean, i love the idea that anyone can say anything on an anonymous blog, and then that givings you license to talk about it? [laughter] you ever go yourself and send in the questions? >> exactly. [laughter] >> you're there anonmousely posting, and i do not, but sometimes i wonder if my colleagues play the tricks, set up a blog, start a conversation
they want to have, and if they are not doing it, they should probably. [laughter] >> to turn to the question of sources, we touched on it a little bit, the question of developing a source, of taking time. do you have that time? you and the work that you do? do you have the luxury of time? >> well, actually, i'm on the side when he says, and it's a personal thing, that any story, not the just big story, but any story, there has to be resource from the top to the bottom, and as a journalist, i can take any time to get to the bottom of the story. the thing is not -- it's not all the story takes a lot of time, but two big stories i was covering in my life. the summer which is still going on because i'm trying to sue the
russian federation in the courts of human rights, but i'm the only one who cares in russia about this national tragedy the way we caught this tragedy back in august of 2000. >> did you worry they would try to kill you because of doing this? >> no, no, of course not. >> not for the curse, but are there other things? [laughter] >> the most interesting thing i'm writing about because probably the leading journalist and i'm a political scholar was killed in 2006 and began this whole list of journalists killed and several of them were killed for their work in human rights and journalist work. it's a sad story. what i want to tell is that this
thing of journalism which we practice in russia, and i should say the government all around the world read about journalism that doesn't care about the things that happened yesterday. in other words, we sort of have a collective amnesia. >> yes. >> the digital media is more even. it doesn't give us a chance to stop to think what's happened actually, what is the real reason? who is guilty? why are we -- we do not understand anything about the thing that happened, about the terrorist attack that happened in russia. we forget about them next day. we go on with our lives without trying to understand what's happened, and that's what killed not the journalism profession,
but the journalism we are talking about. we can't read like yesterday we -- france, paris, children, and life is going on. it just don't work in this way. i feel it because first of all we have to be responsible, we as a journalist, and we need to bring our audience back to what's happened and tell them what actually happened. >> that raises a really interesting point, this question with digital media, not only the volume of information, but the pace of insertion. we talked a little bit whether or not the demands made on you, reporting watergate, with everything out there, the up standpoint there's one little tiny thing, the question i guess is whether or not this is
essentially like a cruising shark that can never really sleep but can never really grasp what goes on. >> well -- >> but often what happens, i mean, back in watergate when we would get a piece of information, quite frankly, no one believed it, and the editors were skeptical and it's the job of the editor to be very skeptical, and it was that skepticism where ben bradly, the editor, said you don't have it yet. it wasn't we're not going to ever publish this story. it was get more sources, get me information, take your time, but this was in the, you know, almost 40 years ago when there were three networks, and a few newspapers, and -- >> tornado watch -- telephone books. >> pardon?
>> telephone books, remember those? >> yes, i do. remember typewriters? >> yes, and phones with cords attachedded to them? [laughter] >> i think the luxury in this stance that bob has is first of all, he works in investigative journalism and secondly, he works in print. we work for a different beast. we have to keep on feeding the beast. it's a 24-hour news cycle, and, you know, television obviously does serve a very useful purpose as we've seen in egypt, tunisia, and elsewhere, but i have moments when i feel the biggest menace to the truth is the 24-hour news cycle because you do not have time to cultivate any of the sources that bob was talking about. that's number one. number two, visiting the u.s., i believe in another country which
has what people in many other countries is an absolute luxury, and that is stringent laws. in this country, in the united kingdom. >> right. >> many countries, especially countries in the region that i come from, obviously, they came at a time when governments were under so much pressure to reform and liberalize, and therefore, you started seeing new publications emerging like there's no tomorrow. in an environment where there's actually very little known about liable laws, so people are writing whatever they want to write which is similar to the example that a blogger can write whatever they want to write, and that becomes a problem, not just for the governments, but also for the writers because the writers end up in jail or are tortured by their own governments and so on and so forth. finally, a quick final point. there's a conference with the debate of is it good for us to be embedded with armies.
as a foreign journalist reporting out of dc, i feel that i am embedded with the u.s. government whether i like it or not. [laughter] i have to cultivate good act contacts. i cannot been seen to be seeing the u.s. government as the enemy, and the u.s. government is well aware of the fact that it cannot be seen as foreign journalists stationed in washington to be viewing them as the enemy, so we are embedded with each other. it's a relationship we have to work on. it doesn't always give you the truth, but when it does, it pays off. a good example in 2005, got a tip that the u.s. was going to withdrawal its am -- ambassador from damascus from someone who was refusing to work with me not because i was a journalist, but because i was a journalist for al jazeera.
>> there are many wonderful pieces of investigative journalism in russia published, for example, by your newspaper, but then nothing happens, no consequences for the subjects of these investigative pieces and something is broken in society. what is broken, and why do you think it never works in russia, and what can be done? thank you. >> thank you for the question. >> we were the first with criminal cases where he was a hero, and yes, but now, 11 years later, we have so many bloggers
and so many people who consider to be a civil journalist who write about the corruption op high-level russian authorities, and in some way right now, when we don't see ourselves and when the civil society begins to join around those bloggers and those and you get this amount of how we reach for government actually. i begin to feel we can impact. for example, there is a thing on russian website. it's called in russia, what are you? it's about corruption in our government procurement process.
it pulls documents about the state tenders, what state buys, and for what kind of money it pays for. for example, cars tables, chairs, and so on, and this website began to be very popular. actually, it's the first time for the russian internet that it collect for several days 30,000 -- $30,000. that's a lot for russian interpret, and the person who deals with this is named alexander, and he gips to be a vivid popular person and politician actually, and he managed to invoke a lot of russian people who really -- >> but do they ever fix anything i think she was asking.
does the government either out of embarrassment or fear prosecute? >> they manage to push our government to close some tepiders and save like about 335 million in this project, money which government was going to pay for gold sheers or something like that. >> there is sometimes a sound when the tree falls in the forest? >> yes. right now when they said that if you join with our internet community, we begin to feel that in some way we can influence or can impact, and, of course, there is a difference between president putin who doesn't know the word twitter and his internet and the president before actually tweets a lot of
things and what people write in their blogs and actually even ask the general prosecution office to use this information and we -- i know it and we have so many small stories to where the people who began to write their blogs, they blog these stories in the blog, and they were efficient to achieve something. there is hope right now. >> before we take another question from the floor, a quick question from the virtual audience. wikileaks in the law asks, what is the opinion on persecuting -- prosecuting, sorry. [laughter] how will it affect you? >> what will the government do with a, you know, always do, investigate and try to stop the
dissemination of mounds of information. i think, you know, they are entitled to that, but it's the journalist's job to protect their sources, and at least at this point they are not going after journalists who are news organizations who are publishing this information. i think that's very wise, and i, you know, if you think about it, it's very hard. i don't think wikileaks goes into the history books like the pentagon papers goes down in the history books. >> what's the difference do you think? >> well, the difference is in the pentagon papers, they were top secret documents that showed that the government had systematically lied about the vietnam war, and the supreme court in a landmark decision held that you no longer -- you cannot restrain the press, go to
court, government cannot go to court and say don't you dare publish that. we can publish what we want, and that is a very good thing, and if the government themments to come -- thenments to come -- then wants to come off us, they are entitle to do that, but what the pentagon papers decision did, and i've seen this for decades, is it opened the avenue to go to the government and say i have these secrets or these secret documents, what about -- what's going to happen -- what's going to be the impact if i publish it? if you think it shouldn't be published, make your arguments, and they make their arguments readily, and sometimes the press agrees and sometimes the press does not, but the result is we get a, you know, so much more information in the system. when i was doing obama's wars, there was one thing that the government said, if you publish
this, chaos will reign in a certain way, and they made very convincing rational arguments about where it should not be published, and it's very important, interesting newsworthy tale, but it's not in the book for the reasons they gave, so i think there is a way to be aggressive. they never like all the stuff that's published, but it's never gone to the point where they say, oh, we're going to prosecute you. >> do you think this government will attempt to prosecute wikileaks? >> well, you know, we'll see, but, you know, they say they have found the source, this private, you know, it's like any government insertion. i put a big question mark behind it and see if they got the right person, and whether there is some violation of law, but, you know, you always have to ask the
question in any of these countries. where is the madness? the madness is giving somebody like this private access to hundreds of thousands of classified documents that can be of no possible use to him in his job, but this was the idea of we're going to share all the information, so in a sense, they've, you know, they are being hoisted by their own policy. >> please. >> i'm the freedom of expression officer at freedom house working on turning my dissertation into a book, and my question is can you -- what is the definition of journalism these days, and does the debate between our bloggers, journalists, and does it even make sense these days? in my position, i talked to governments around the world, talked to journalists where they don't get paid, suffer for lack of noftionallism, but there's
also journalists who are not building sources, not every journalists writes stories based on stories but computer assisted reporting, ect.. i wonder, al jazeera just started and using social media as your source of information, so i guess my question is how do you define journalism these days? bloggers are doing things that look like journalisms, fact checks, interviews, and are we missing the point by debating what the difference between blogging and journalism is? >> maybe this is important in environments where journalists have lost a force in one -- lost a spot in one force with legal protection. part of the question would be if everyone can be a journalist or if the definition of a journalist is so broad to include someone who post a video to the web, posts pictures to
the web, writes a blog, are they entitled to the protections or does that fall to the wayside? >> the honest is i don't know the answer to any of the questions she asked. it seems to me that for us journalists, we are not like policemen where the states can say only people who were this particular uniform will be considered policemen in the eyes of the law. >> so there's an attempt to do essentially that in iraq for example asking journalists to sign a contract. >> yeah, i mean, but that's precisely the kind of thing that we, as journalists in the con sensual sense of journalism, but also others are trying not to have. they are trying to resist having governments to does enate who -- designate who is a journalist and who is not. in my eyes, i'm a journalist. if someone says i'm a journalist
and i don't accept it, i done have a legal argument to object that resignation that that person has chosen, but when it comes to actual story making, especially after egypt, there's very few people who would contest the two have to work together. whether we both call ourselves, whether me or a television journalist and a blogger, whether we both carl ourselves journalists and whether i agree with that, i'm forced and have no choice but to work with that blogger and the guy who sends me information on youtube or facebook or whatever. the very story is not even always possible for me, so as she said, when they turn out information, it's not always based on their sources, but i have to work with it. i don't have a choice whether i agree to call them a journalist or not.
what mechanism do we have for agreeing on who is a journalist or not, i can't answer that question. >> i have to agree. where they come to matter is when citizens and journalists need protection, where they do need to participate in unions and benefits and certain -- it comes down to legal protections and protocols and who gets a press pass, and the distinctions are not in the community where we decide it must be a symbolic relationship, but it does continue to exist in terms of protocol and the law, and you increasingly see mainstream news organizations, for example, in a place like pakistan developing bloggers or photos, and with this big not contracting
understanding that if you get into trouble, we have your back, and that's because we see there's this mutual benefit, and we can't ask them to go out of line and not bring them into this loop of protections and community that journalists have. >> what we may be seeing is there's a mutual benefit and doing the same job with different names and courtings in countries are having this discussion and reaching different decisions, and where they are not choosing to extend protections to journalists, to bloggers as an example because they are not fitting into a technical definition of what a journalist is. how does that get changed? should it get changed? >> i think we will have to change it. i think it will come down to the practice of the base sicks of what constitutes a journalist. i'm not a lawyer, so i don't have an answer to the question, but it's evolving and i think the actual professionings and practices -- professions and practices tipped the law in many cases.
>> but the word "journalist" is not in the constitution. the first amendment applies to everyone. congress will make no law to restrict freedom of the press, and i think that applies across the board, and i'm not -- i think these are labels. a journalist is somebody, a blogger is somebody, and i'm not sure it's significant. the question is is there information -- is their information accurate? can it be verified and have meaning in the lives of others? >> perhaps it is significant in one instance i can think of that's significant. when journalists go to report on a story somewhere and they are detained by a particular government, a commercial, we had one of our reports -- reporters for example killed in libya and another still being held. that can kick that organization
to get you released. if you're a blogger, that's not always the case. >> if you work for general electric or general motors or something like that, there's cases where businesses really fussed when their people were held up and so forth, but i mean, you're right, but, look, always got to think about the quality of our product. is it really -- have we penetrated? have we explained what's really going on? i sense you people are operating by the seat of your participants in many cases where it's not clear what to do and you have to take something and go with it, and i say from afar, bless you. [laughter] >> we have time for one quick question. thank you. >> i'm from argentina, represent the newspaper, and i have a question for mr. woodward.
what do you do when the source has good information, but you need the documentation to back it up. for example, in argentina, public officials only talk to filmmakers or the state own media. >> well, as you attempt to get other human sources to verify it, and sometimes you have to go with the story and it involves instinct. it involves experience, but journalism is not risk-free, and anyone who thinks it's risk free should go do something else because in fact and you see particularly in your case and in all of your cases, you embrace risk. you want to be on the cutting edge, and you are suspicious about what these concentrations of power are doing, particularly
and you're right to be suspicious, and, you know, so but you are living in a world of risk. as ben bradly said when you have a good story, you go home with a lump in your stomach -- [laughter] part of that is pride, but part of that is doubt. >> thank you very much. thank you to you all. thank you very much to the audience. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, that was excellent. [inaudible conversations]
>> michigan governor, rick snyder returned to the university of michigan to deliver this year's commencement address. he received four degrees from the school including an honorary degree that was bestowed pop him at the ceremony. he talks about his personal experiences as a um student and the goals he set for himself.
from ann arbor, michigan, this is 20 minutes. [applause] >> well, congratulations to the class of 2011. it is truly an honor to be here today. michigan is a special place to me, and when you think about making a commencement address, you have two choices. you can talk about major issues or you can talk about your life and personal issues. today, i'm going to talk about my personal experience at the university of michigan and deal with the question i'd like to share with you. what is the university of michigan the world leader at, and what it means to all of us and about all of us. to begin, this is just a personal opinion, so i would make that clear, but let me start with my experience as a student at the university of michigan.
i only had one other opportunity to come to the university of michigan for a football game when i was 7 or 8 years old. the next time i came was thanksgiving week of 1975. i came up to go to the office of admissions and to tell me story. i had a meeting with the associate director, a gentleman named lance erikson, and told him my story of growing up in battle creek in a 900 square foot house having the opportunity to start community college though when i was 16 years old, and the dreams i had for my future. in that meeting, he looked at me and he said, "you need to start at the university of michigan in january." you should leave high school and come here, and, in fact, we have the perfect degree to fit your dreams, the bachelors of general studies degree because you can build your own degree. well, i went back to my parents. we were all amazed and surprised, and it was time to go
to the university of michigan. i showed up in january of 1976 at the university of michigan, and to put it in perspective for you, i would probably be at the far end of being the least worldly person to show up at the university of michigan. i had fabulous parents, but i didn't have a lot of opportunity, and to give you a point of reference, the first week i was there, a number of my friends that i had met said let's go get a fragel. we went to the bagel factory, and i had my first fragel. the most amazing part of that i was too embarrassed to share with me friends is i had never had a bagel. [laughter] i didn't know what a bagel was. the next step was the rooming situation. i had a triple in west clyde.
[cheers and applause] as a disclaimer, this was 1976; so the university people still talked to me after this speech. i had two roommates. one was a junior, and within a month after the start of the term, he managed to get himself kicked out of university housing for a lack of social and moral behavior. [laughter] that's the nice way to put it, folks. [laughter] the other roommate was a freshman studying engineering, but i'm convinced he only made it through the first year because engineering was not his passion and love. his true passion and love was botany, and believe that was based on the fact he had a significant plantation in our room. [laughter] [laughter]
and so you can see this green kid from battle creek who had not turned 18 yet, had these two wonderful roommates. [laughter] i almost didn't make it. one thing that helped me make it was one thing you only find at the university of michigan. actually, i had a work study opportunity, and i found a job, and that job was at the institute of social research, and actually, it was a job for a graduate student to do research that somehow i managed to get, and it was because of the people at that institute working on the survey of consumer confidence that gave me the fortitude and dedication to survive that first semester, and i got through it. from there, it was a much more positive experience. my years were amazing. i had opportunities to do things
you couldn't do at other schools, to get these three degrees, but during the path of the three degrees, i had a chance to be a research assistant in government accounting, scc accounting with the professor earl keller. i had the opportunity to do a research project that became an article that i co-authored with one of the great business communications professors at the university. the follow-upny part was -- the funny part was when i told my parents, it was something they could not read because it was in the best seller journal of communications. other experiences though were a part of growth too. as i recognized i wanted to learn from people and do more with people, so literally, i became a resident adviser in bersley. [cheers and applause] i had a freshmen floor that was
a lot of fun, and that was quite an experience. also, i was an instructor in the business school, and a ta. i literally had my own class. i don't think they do this anymore, but when i got the position of instructor, they handed me the textbook saying the class starts in a couple months, good luck. i got through those experiences, and they helped me grow. they were fabulous een experiences, and by the last year at the university, i was living off campus, i was teaching, i had a blue lot parking pass. [laughter] i had a private office in the business school, although not near as nice or orange as today, and best of all and hopefully this will not get me in trouble, i had tickets on the 50-yard line back then. the students used to go to the 50, folks, back in those days. [laughter] i'm still trying to achieve
seats as good as when i had those seats back in the early 80s. it was a fabulous experience the growth, and so let me give you my view of what the u of m's role is in the world. first of all, u of m is ranked high in more departments than probably any other institution in the world. [cheers and applause] there an issue though that we don't rank number one that often. we are by far the best number two school on the ratings of any place in the world. now, usually the criticism is, and the reason we're not number one when you go behind the ratings is because they say we're too big, too large, we don't have that degree of attention that the small exclusive schools offer.
well, what i would say to you is too often we spend time trying to say how we can be like them and somewhat being apologetic for that fact, and that is absolutely backward. the u of m, the true uniqueness here is the intersection among being the best in the world in so many fields while having an environment where you can build your own path through so many of them, our strength is our breath and size. we need to stop being defensive about our size and start being proud of it. the simple answer for the university of michigan about what we're best at is we're the university of explorers. if you look up the definition of explorer, it's someone who travels into unfamiliar or unknown regions especially for organized sign tisk purposes --
scientific purposes. i believe that's what drew us here. there's no place in the world that can match the university of michigan. it is that spirit of exploration that brought us here. we need to start promoting our size and breath as a power as why we still continue to be the best in individual departments and that great student experience. let's be proud of our size and be the best. [cheers and applause] now, in terms of individuals, i like to now speak to the graduates about what that means to you and the opportunities you have. you are explorers. when you have been exploring at the university of michigan, it was straightforward. your mission was to garage wait, and you achieved that fabulous goal today, but the next thing is you need a mission for the future, and explorer needs a mission. the question is what is the
mission for your life? the thing of that is is there is no right or wrong answer, and there is no specific time you need to have that answer. some may have it today. others may not find it for some years. there are triggers that will help you get there, and we have heard those stories many times. it can be your parents. it can be mentors in your life, and i had fabulous mentors. it can be opportunities, but it can also be crisis that will give you a mission, so as you travel from this stadium, ask yourself what is your mission? to put it in perspective, i had a mission that i'll share with you briefly. my mission, i was fortunate. i developed it when i was a teenager. my mission in terms of the ultimate goal is to make the world a better place and to say i added value.
in terms of specifics, i define three careers that i want to experience during my lifetime. the first career was to go into the private sector, to go into business, and why did i choose that? there were three key goals. one, i wanted to financially be able to take care of my family and hopefully have the resources to go off and do other things. the second one was to help people, to say what products and services could add value? the last one was to have fun. because if you have fun at what you do and enjoy what you do, you simply will be better at it. that was to be from age 20 something up to 50 or so or 60. the second career though was about public service. it was to drop the goal of making money and having
financial security and because i'd achieve that hopefully and to focus on helping people and having fun, and i didn't know what that would be, so the opportunity arose to run for governor because we were a broken state, and there's an opportunity to reinvent our state. i thought i could work in a non-profit. i thought i could do many things, but this opportunity was there, and it was time to seize the opportunity as a way to give back to citizens of our state. now, the having fun part is not really true today. [laughter] but what i say in that context is it's not about laughs. it's not about enjoyment while you have to make tough decisions. it's about saying is there satisfaction in doing the right thing and hopefully making our state a better place? i have a third career that i plan to go after when i'm done with public service, and that's
to teach because i want to give back on a smaller scale. as an opportunity to help people and to have fun, and to show i actually plan for this career from my teenage days. when i finished at the university of michigan after i got my third degree, actually i was asked to come back and teach, so when i was 24, i was an adjunct assistant professor teaching a class in the mba program, and one reason i did that was one i loved teaching, but the other part is because i actually thought i could use that as a credential to prove people when i was 60 i was competent to teach. [laughter] now, of this plan, this career plan, it's been fabulous. it's still challenging as you all know, but in terms of my mission, it's worked well, except i overlooked one major
facet of life when i did this career plan. it was the personal side of life, to be blueprint, i was a work -- to be blunt, i was a workalcohollic. many people still think i am, but nothing like i was when i finished school. how did i solve that problem? well, i got help, and the help i got was my fabulous wife, sue. she showed me there's more to life than simply working and we've been happily married for over 20 years. now, there's another wonderful part to that is the three children we have, jeff, melissa, and kelsi. one of the things is children are a special thing in your life, and it's more important than anything, but i can also tell you that it helped put life in perspective more than anything, especially when they were young because i can tell you when you come home from work
and said you had the best day or the worst day of your professional life, when you walk in that door, they didn't care. it was about them, and that was the right answer, and by having great kids like that made me a better person, and i'm proud to say melissa is actually a sophomore here now. [cheers and applause] now, in terms of summarizing this kind of analysis, about being an explorer in the mission, the problem comes when you give a commencement address. in my view, the average half-life of a commencement address in terms of retention is typically days to a matter of hours, and we're in an increasingly add world, so i wanted to give you a phrase that really summarizes what i talked about and how it relates to that
phrase because it's a phrase i know you know so well and you're going to remember the rest of your life with pride. the leaders invest. now,ed leaders part is easy. just being here means you're an explorer. the key is finding that mission in life, keep it simple, just set a few milestones, but to be a leader, it's a simple mathematical equation. explore plus mission equals leader. [cheers and applause] now, the other part of the phrase is the challenging one, the best. why do i say the best is the challenging part? because too often the best is misunderstood. the best is not about having an
attitude of superiority or about being arrogant. what the best really means in my view is about giving your best, to give your best effort and to do it in a certain way, and that's to do it in a positive fashion, a forward-looking fashion and a fashion where you work to have people win together and to solve problems in the world. it's not about blame, and it's not about credit. it's about giving your all and making a difference in people's lives. because of the two phrases, what i can tell you is that if you are heard and you have a mission, don't worry about getting the mission entirely done. that may not be possible, but if you continue to give your best and try to make that happen, by giving your best, you will be a
scholar among the leaders in best, so take that into life, congratulations to you, god bless, and go blue. [cheers and applause] >> the c-span video library makes it easy to follow campaign 2012. click on the tab and get instant access from announced and potential presidential candidates, all searchable, shareable, and free.
>> next, from chipolte stadium from the university of colorado steve ells opened his first restaurant five years after garaguation. he's introduced by the chancellor of the university. this is 15 minutes. [cheers and applause] >> and now it's my pleasure to introduce my commencement speak or chose by the senior class counsel, mr. steve ells. he graduated from cu boulder in 19 # 88 with an arts and sciences degree following graduation from boulder high school. today, he's the founder, chairman, and co-chief executive
officer of chipolte mexican grill. [cheers and applause] he opened the first chipolte in 1993. today, with 1100 restaurants, he's changing the way people think about and eat fast food through his commitment to sustainable agriculture and locally grown produce. steve has received considerable praise for this vision and his leadership. newsweek called him an environmental champion for his commitment to supporting sustainable agriculture. he has been profiled by "time," business week, "forbes," fortune, "wall street journal" and abc news. chipolte stock posted the highest return of any u.s. initial public offering since 2005 up more than ten-fold in that time. sustainablebusiness.com named chipolte one of the top 20 sustainable stocks.
class of 2011, congratulations. [applause] i was kind of panicking about what to say when i was thinking about the speech and it is unusual for me because i have to be in public and do these kinds of speeches a lot. i have had to get used to not being afraid of being in the spotlight. the chancellor talked about this reality show and actually to think about the ratings maybe it isn't the spotlight but anyway i was struggling with what to say but after giving it a lot of thought, i racked my brain and the idea that kept coming to me was service. and i am thinking of service in very broad terms. i think it is the act of finding something within yourself that you care deeply about and then sharing it with others. and so this is my advice to you. find out how you can serve
others while doing what you love. and it turns out that serving others is where it is at in this life. it makes you feel good and it is the right thing to do. and it is the best way to ensure you are going to have a great career and make a great living. in fact i think it is a pretty good definition of success. serving others while doing what you love. each one of you has qualities that no one else has, interest that no one else has been ideas that are uniquely your own. things that you really like to do. and i'm here to tell you that the world desperately needs you to share your special qualities, interest and ideas. at this point you may not know how your particular qualities or interest will ever be useful in the service of others that it is okay. when i was sitting where you are, neither did i. while my story may be a useful example. now i need to tell you i didn't start thinking this way.
i was in some do-gooder that tried to serve other people. it is actually a lot simpler than that. i just love to cook. i mean i really really loved it. i love everything about the kitchen. even when i was a little kid i remember trying to master my technique for making scrambled eggs when i was seven. later on in grade school i started watching cooking shows a lot including julia child's. she was probably my favorite and i try to replicate the recipes. later on in high school and college i started hosting dinner parties all the time and i would invite a bunch of friends over and cook really elaborate meals. it was really great phentermine it helped me to get better and better at what i loved doing. it also allowed me to meet some of the most important people in my life. just recently one of these people pointed out to me that i wasn't just throwing dinner parties. he pointed out that i was a man on a mission, that i was totally obsessed with showing people a
perfect dining experience or at least my interpretation of a perfect dining experience. i remember one of these dinner parties, it was kind of funny, we went shopping together to buy the ingredients and we were making a caesar salad. this was 25 years ago so caesar salad was a cool thing to make that even though we were having a few people over, i was standing there in the produce aisle and i was filling up the shopping cart with heads of romain lettuce. i must have had a dozen or a dozen and a half heads in there. he said what you need all this let us for? we are only going to have a few people over. i said we are only going to use the very centers, the perfect shaped crunchy light green part. i couldn't afford it at the time and he kind of freaked out. i don't get what you are doing. these were the links i would go to because i was accessed with making the salad perfect. i was obsessed with making food in general as perfect as it could be. still today, i can't stand to see people eat bad food.
it really does tear me up sort of like fingernails on a chalk board. for those dinner parties i would obsessed for hours and hours about the upcoming meal. i would search local markets and find the very best ingredients. i really researched recipes, spent hours and hours in the kitchen prepping and when people would come over i would swing into action. i was so busy through dinner that i wouldn't get to socialize with my guests or i wouldn't enjoy the food. i wouldn't get to sit down but do you know what? i was in absolute heaven. why is that? i had done all the work. i had spent all my money, i had gotten to eat only a small amount of the food and then i was left with the dirty dishes but i was the happiest person in the room and it gave me a sense of well-being and all i could think about was one i was going to do it again and what i would cook and how i was going to make it even better next time.
what does this all tell you? i think it tells you the one giving the most is often the most satisfied. now i told you serving others can lead to a great career but it doesn't always present itself in an obvious way. for instance i started chipotle and in retrospect my career seemed like it followed a career path, love of cooking would lead woodley to culinary school to working in restaurants and starting one of my own. but i had no idea it would all turn out like this. i was just living life. i had no idea this passion of mine had anything to do with my professional future. even when i chose to go to cooking school i had no dark -- goal of starting a restaurant. i just wanted to learn more about cooking and i think my dad sitting with us today in the stands, he was concerned too. hear his oldest son who just graduated from cu was now going
to do his postgraduate work in the kitchen. well, back then it was not exactly an obvious recipe for financial freedom. which was important for him to see me have. so after cooking school i went to work in one of the great restaurants in the country at the time and it was in san francisco and after a couple of years there i decided i wanted to start a restaurant of my own. but since i knew that restaurants required a sizable investment and often really they fail, very high incidence of that i needed to provide a revenue stream for this full-scale restaurant idea so i thought i would open up a little burrito restaurant. it would be based on the talk as i was introduced to in san francisco and this would serve to keep afloat this full-scale restaurant. i decided to call this little burrito restaurant chipotle mexican grill. you know i remember i was described to my friends what this place was going to look
like and divides i was going to create and i went into excruciating detail about the preparation of methods for all the menu items. for instance i wasn't going to use canned beans. i was going to buy beautiful black beans and cooked them from scratch and to do that i would ride the best fresh oregano and pick it off the stems and chop it just so. i would toast cumin seeds and grind them by hand. i would sauté all of this with fresh garlic and onions and triple play chile peppers. and then simmer all this together with a b. for hours until they were perfectly tender. i wanted to elevate everything on the menu including the humble black beans. i friends thought i was silly. they were saying steve, sure you can taste the difference between cumin seeds that came from a jar and those that you toasted and ground with your mortar and pesto but most people won't know the difference. but remember i was a man on a mission. i didn't care if they could tell the difference.
i wanted everybody to eat great food. it was more porting to me than anything else. and that i think is where you find the deepest satisfaction. when you set out to serve others and go beyond their expectations, when you care more about what you are providing then they do. i think everybody has the capacity to do that. everybody has the ability to create something special. to give something extraordinary and in turn turn people on to new ideas. as chipotle grew we began buying a lot of food and i became increasingly curious about where this food was coming from and how it was being raised. i started visiting farmers and ranchers and really try to understand how they were raising their food. and that is when i started seeing that much of the food system in this country is really one that that is based on
exploitation and i was totally uncomfortable with serving this food at my restaurants. the thing that was really transformative for me was when i saw how pork was raised. most picks in this country are being raised on factory farms. they are being raised in confinement in awful awful conditions. in that environment there is exploitation on so many levels, the welfare of the animal was totally disregarded. so many antibiotics are being used that antibiotic resistant strains in diseases are becoming a big problem. independent family farms are being displaced. and we as consumers are tacitly buying into that system. at chipotle, we said that we don't want our success to be based on that kind of exploitation. so i worked with a co-op of family farmers in iowa who are raising pigs the right way. they rondout tortures they didn't warrant and they were not
fed antibiotics. these farmers became suppliers to chipotle. and are working with these farmers we were able to supply chipotle with all of this really great port. and sure it costs more, but the benefits in terms of the quality of what we were providing customers far outweighed the costs. and you know what? our customers notice the difference. and this has led us on a journey to find the best ingredients for all of our food and we call this journey food with integrity. you all might know of a farmer named joel salatan and his farm was featured in michael pollen's look beyond the borders dilemma and also in the film food and. he is a supplier for two of our restaurants in virginia. he has become a friend over the years. i visited joel again just a couple of weeks ago and what i find amazing about joel is that he is raising delicious pork and beef and chicken but he is doing
it in a way that leaves the land in better condition than how he found it. and he does it in a way that shows respect for the animals that he raises. he has respect for the customers he sells his meet to. he really cares about them and he has a beautiful farm he will be able to pass on to his kids and his grandkids. he is serving others while doing what he loves. and he has really been an inspiration to me to go out and find warrant more farmers who are dedicated to feeding people food that was raised with the same kind of care in a sustainable way, and now it is totally fulfilling for us to look at every ingredient on our menu and to make sure it is something we are proud of and that is really -- what is really great about this is our customers do notice know this and they can tell the difference. and i think that is a lesson that i learned, that it is
incredibly fulfilling to serve others while doing what you love. alright, so what about you? what things do you care about more than anything else? how can you apply your passion to the service of others? at each of you has exceptional skills or talents. some that you learned here at cu and some that helped get help get you in to see you in the first place. and while the skills and talents may not seem so profound to you today i promise you they can set you apart. and if you make service your journey, one of the results will be personal success. a great career and financial success sure, but those things are not the most meaningful or the most important. the most important will be that you will have a positive effect on others and you will feel a sense of deep fulfillment as one who has given of yourself, one who has left things a little better than you found them.
graduates are often told to think about their future in terms of what the world needs and that is a great way to look at it. at the world needs a lot of things. so many that it can be overwhelming. what the world needs most though is passionate people who serve others and who do it in a way that doesn't come at the expense of other people or our land or our morals. if we get enough people doing that, then everything falls into place, for you, and the world. thank you for letting me be part of this special day and congratulations to the university of colorado graduating class of 2011. [applause] >> the c-span video library makes it easy to follow campaign 2012. click on the tab and get instant
access to events from announced and potential presidential candidates all searchable, shareable and free. the peabody award-winning c-span video library is washington your way. >> now from the university of richmond, commencement ceremony remarks by curtis carlson, the emmy award-winning developer of american high-definition tv standards. mr. carlson who is head of the silicon valley firm, addressed the graduating seniors at this event in early may. this is 20 minutes.
[applause] >> thanks russ. good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. happy mother's day to moms and congratulation class of 2011. [applause] today, i had the honor of welcoming the commencement speaker or the university of richmond's class of 2011. dr. curtis carlson. now, you might have not thought of this, but every time you turn on your tv to watch the super bowl, your mom's favorite soap oprah or the season finale of "two and a half men," in high-definition that is, you need to tank a one man for the high-quality image on your screen. and trust me, it is not charlie sheen. [laughter] them and you ought thank is dr. curtis carlson.
dr. carlson won emmy awards for leading the development of the american hdtv broadcast center and optimizing satellite broadcast image quality. as an expert on innovation and competitiveness, dr. carlson has found that more than 12 companies and is currently chairman, ceo and president of sri international, an independent nonprofit research institute. in fact, president barack obama appointed dr. carlson to the presidential task force on the research and development of the institute. dr. carlson advises government leaders around the world on innovation, competitiveness and educational reform. his book, with william wilmont, innovation, the five disciplines for creating what customers want, was published in 2006 and
made "businessweek"'s top 10 books of that year. in addition, dr. carlson is a sound -- founding member of the innovation leadership council of the world economic forum. he holds degrees from worcester polytechnic institute, stevens institute of technology, in kettering university and he receive professional achievement award from worcester polytechnic and rutgers university school of engineering. dr. carlson has served on numerous corporate and government boards of directors and advisory councils, and he was a member of the original team that helped create the army's federated laboratories. his passion for innovation and education is something we admire. with the world changing everyday, technologically, politically and socially, we are
reminded of the importance of education, leadership and constant innovation for future generations. class of 2000 levin, please join me in welcoming our speaker, dr. curtis carlson. [applause] >> well, thank you. that was very generous. he gave me more credit than i deserve but everything i have ever done in my career has been done with great colleagues and great teammates and that is what i'm about to talk about, the importance of working with wonderful people who are passionate about what they are ingested in, making a difference in the world. thank you for having me here to celebrate this important event
with you, the graduates, families and friends and your dedicated faculty. this wonderful occasion marks the culmination of much hard work and achievement. today also marks the beginning of new dreams and new endeavors. you might wonder why the head of the research enterprise of silicon valley california is talking to you today. well, over your careers, because of the exciting but challenging world you are entering, you are likely -- in silicon valley than people have in the past. i am here to share with your perspective that i hope in some small way helps you achieve your dreams and that allows you to drive in our world of abundant opportunities. first, let me too say happy mother's day and congratulations to our graduates and congratulations to your loved ones.
i am impressed that 20% of you are first-generation graduates. that was true of me too. i didn't start in silicon valley. i grew up in a modest home and an industrial park in rhode island. behind our home is the turnpike. the front of our home faced the loading docks of a brewery. fortunately my father played the violin and he taught me to play. that was my first dream and i became a professional at 15. but my music friends were all going to college and because of them, college became my second dream. unfortunately, it is too late for me to thank my grandfather but today is a perfect time for you to thank those who you achieve this milestone in your college degree. accomplishments are achieved alone so graduates please make sure you've thank all those who supported you, your parents,
family, friends, professors and mentors. everyone who believed in you and help you to get to this great day. please tell them that you love them and give them a really big hug. your appreciation means the world to them. after all, they love you. [applause] and in the future make sure you return the favor too. be a friend, a teacher or a mentor to help someone else achieve his or her dream too. you know from your own experience how powerful that help can be. when someone believes in you before even you know what you are trying to achieve, it is possible. let me -- one of the student government leaders said richmond
has kicked me out of my comfort zone. it is pushing me to strive for constant excellence rather than staying in the status quo. that is just right. today i would respectfully like to push you a little bit further. i will start by sharing with you some of what i say to all the new people who join my organization. we have learned that there are a few principles that really matter and they apply to any field you might enter whether the peace corps, government or a company. first, work on big important problems that you are passionate about. making a difference in the world is a powerful motivator. fortunately for you, we live in a world of unprecedented opportunity. a world of attentional abundance. why is that? first, there are an unlimited number of important needs to be addressed such as health care, it clean energy, economic
development and k-12 education. consider that in your choice. only about 25% of employees graduate from high school. this is a national tragedy. and some of you will have the opportunity to help address it. second, solutions to problems in today's economy, as lee from ideas and creativity. ideas and creativity unlike natural resources, are an unlimited resource. many of the best ideas from the future will come from you. but it is a world of abundance only for those who can see the opportunities ahead and have the skills to take advantage of them. without these skills they can seem like a world of scarcity. innovation is the only way we are going to solve the world's major issues, growth, prosperity, environmental sustainability and security. the way to take advantage of
these opportunities is to learn all you can about innovations in how to create value for others. and the other path in today's world is just too risky. the world is moving so fast and it is so competitive that we must all learn to know how to add value, whatever we do. if we don't, the world will quickly pass us by. ..
>> those of you who studied historien anthropolly, dance, or writing, want to make contributions too. there's applications for these and every other field. consider, picasso. yes, a famous artist, but an innovator creating value for the world. he transformed how we think about art, and in the process, he created a large market for his art as well. consider your own university of richmond. they pioneered a curriculum to prepare you for this world. this, too, is an up no vaition. a brilliant one in my view because it thus prepares you to be creative innovators. earlier, i mentioned one of the
most important skills, identifying and working on important problems, not ones that are just interesting. after all, if what you're working on doesn't matter to anyone, you can't make an impact. you are just putting in time. always go for the big opportunities. these are the ones that will teach you the most and allow you to make a contribution, and don't say no even if an opportunity scares you to death. that has happened to all of us. last night i had supper with former governor kaine and several of your terrific controversies. the governor said, it is usually the opportunities that you don't do that you end up regretting. i can't tell you how true that is. if an opportunity comes your way, please, please grab it. step up and welcome those new opportunities. fortunately, challenging important problems almost always turn out to be the most
interesting. work hard at them. so what are some of those additional skills you're going to need? the good news is your university already gave you some of the most critical ones, already taken programs, participated in international studies, and worked with fellow students from all around the world. you studied innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership and collaborate in small teams with students from diverse backgrounds to solve products. this is an absolutely perfect foundation for the world we are in. one question i often get asked is, okay, but how do i take the next step? how do i go from where i am today to making a significant contribution? being a creative innovator starts by looking for opportunities to make a difference, to add value. this perspective is very powerful. it comes from asking how can i
make this better? how can i contribute something more? it starts with a desire to achieve something important. if you are not driven toot something of significance, something you are passionate about, your chance for success is actually very small. in my experience, essentially zero. next, find a buddy, find at least one person who shares your vision and passion. working alone is just too hard. you need someone to question your ideas at every step, to add other ideas, and to provide emotional support. you may have heard the expression that the unique point of view can be worth 80 extra iq points. you want that from your buddy who has perspectives different than yours that adds values. if it's not written down, it's not real.
use words, draw pictures, make models. use whatever you can to bring your idea to life, and then show it to everybody around you to collect their extra 80iq points too. there is magic in this, and very few take advantage of all that surrounds them. in my company, this is how we start creating one new world changing innovation after another from new cancer drugs to high definition television into novel rays to capture co2 from the at atmosphere. sure, there's obvious calls. all of us fail at first, many, many times. we see failure as the first necessary step. it's the only way you can learn. after all, at the beginning, you have not done your homework and never do enough at the start. if you fail and understand why, then you've learned something. the next time you try, you'll do
it differently, you'll do it better. writers, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, they all fail, many, many times before they succeed. the key is to persevere until you understand everything you need to know to solve your problem. we say fail fast to succeed early. make it go as fast as you can. creating value for others turns you into the most valuable person in your field. whether you're an artist, a volunteer, pursue research, start a new company, or practices law. it's an organization with 2 million people, where you find the herdquarters of google, facebook, apple, and hundreds of small startups, the googles of tomorrow. it's the hub of biotechnology
and the next generation internet. what makes this possible? what makes silicone senior high school lee so special? well, first it's an or rise toke sigh. what matters and what other reasons the country and the world is its environment of intense collaboration and focus on the highest levels of achievement. it is about making the world a better place. what matters is whether you have the skills, values, and passions to make a serious contribution. what matters most is what you can do, what you can achieve, not where you came from, not your religion, not your finances, and certainly not politics. what matters is your ethics and how you can work productively with others to solve important problems. in silicone valley being from somewhere else is actually an advantage. more than 50% of the president's
in silicone valley have come from just india or china alone. these leaders have the advantage of thinking globally, speaking another language, and having a deep appreciation for different regions and cultures. in my organization, an up credibly -- incredibly large percentage of the staff has grown up outside the unite, france, russia, israel, china, japan, india, and elsewhere just like your class. america really is the land of opportunity if you have the right values, perspectives, and skills. more than 60% of your class has studied abroad leading news week to describe the university as the highest school for international education. good for you. that's exactly what you want. that's perfect. to make a difference in the world and to create lasting value, everyone needs to be a
creative innovator. moreover, if you do, i can almost guarantee you will perform meaningful work of developing the skills that will last you a lifetime. it allows you to thrive in the fast-paced exciting world as a creator, not just a worker. with your excellent education at the university, you are well-prepared to add these additional creation skills. they are not magic. they can be learned just like all the subjects here at the university. read everything you can about creativity and innovation, study and talk to ail who have achieved something special, learn as much as you can from everyone you run into. whatever fields you pursue, enriching the arts or littleture, studying businesses and creating jobs, teaching the next generation of students or improving the quality of life for millions around the world, you can acquire the innovative skills that will ensure success. you have taken the first step by
obtaining that degree and enter the world with the knowledge and personal attributes to tackle world's abundance of opportunities. the famous an throe polings summed it up saying never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. these are powerful words. i experienced the truth of these words dozens of times in my career, in various organizations, the people of diverse backgrounds, and when pursuing very different goals. you can too. remember, tackle big important problems you are passionate about and learn all you can
about innovation and how to create value for others. years from now when you look back, i predict you have made a positive and lasting contribution to the world. you will have worked with many great colleagues, and you will have had a lot of fun. finally, please, thank your family and supporters and give them that great big hug. i thank you for letting me share your celebration today. congratulations. i wish you all the very, very best. go spiders. [cheers and applause]
>> national urban league president and former new orleans mayor marc morial received letters at howard university talking about his family's legacy at the school and other alumni who have excelled in their chosen professions and urges the graduating class to commit to excellence and quality as they go into the world. from washington, d.c., this is
20 minutes. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> congratulations dr. morial, and thank you for your patience, and now let's hear a few words. [applause] >> thank you very much. good morning. >> morning. >> to the chairman berry rand to president sidney, to the trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater howard bison community, again, thank you, lord for holding back the liquid sunshine. [laughter] [applause] let me congratulate my fellow
honorary recipients, and dr. john brooks for having been recognized for lifetime of exemplary service and accomplishments. please join me in offering them another warm round of applause. [applause] on behalf of the organization i'm proud to lead, the national urban league, and it's 98 affiliates who serve 2.1 million people across in nation and among whose past and present leadership count hundreds of howard university alumni including the distinguished john jacob, our former president who is here on stage. [applause] the very distinguished vernon jordan, a member of the board of trustees, we offer congratulations to the howard university community.
like howard, the national urban league shares a historic mission, and this year as president ob received, i am proud that our state of black america town hall took place right here on howard university's campus in the auditorium. thank you, howard university. [applause] now, for the class of 2011 -- [cheers and applause] whether you have graduated summa cum ladi or just thank you lordy -- [laughter] i say this is the day that the lord hath made, let us be glad and rejoice in it! [cheers and applause]
class of 2011, give yourselves the warmest, loudest congratulations that you can muster. [cheers and applause] now, i promise to be brief. [laughter] and then to be seated. i've got 11 minutes and 11 seconds. it does remind me of a little story. many years ago, i met a woman when i was practicing law who wanted help in drafting a prenup agreement as she prepared to marry for the fourth time. [laughter] now, she was mere -- nearing the ripe age of 80. i asked her, please tell me just a little bit about those first
three husbands because i really need to know what assets you're bringing into this marriage. she said that when she was young, she married a wealth real estate developer. they owned many homes. a home in colorado, a home on the eastern shore of maryland, townhouses in new york, washington, and miami; then suddenly, he died, and she inherited a nice sized fortune. then she met a struggling actor, a debonair lady's man, also an inspiring musician. they lived in hollywood. they went to the grammies, the toe in -- tonies, the oscars, and as he achieved success, they traveled the world having spent the money she had inherited from her first
husband, and then he ran off with another woman. later in life, she changed course dramatically and married a minister of the gospel, and she sat in the first pew of the church as the first lady of the church, went to revivals, went to church meetings, sitting in the front pew every single sunday, and then he passed, and i said, now at 80, what have you chosen for your fourth husband? she said, i've chosen an undertaker. [laughter] i said, you've had all these wonderful experiences, why would you choose to marry an undertaker at the age of 80? she said, baby, i chose one for the money, two for the show,
three to get ready, and four to go. [laughter] [applause] now, the good book teaches us that there's a time and season for everything. there is a time for the money. there's a time for the show. there's a time to prepare, and, yes, unfortunately, there's a time when we must all go. class of 2011, you, today, have reached the mountain top by earning a degree from one of the great institutions of higher education anywhere in the world. [applause] a university led by a talented board of trustees, an experience and passionate president, dr. sidney robeau.
a university that has trained great surgeons, supreme court justices, members of congress, mayors of major american cities, architects, engineers, musicians, doctors, business leaders, lawyers, dentists, teachers, pastors, and maybe some pediatrists. a university whose impact is known and heard around the world, not only within the united states of america and throughout the african diaspora, but across the global community. class of 2011, you have not simply earned a degree from any university. you have earned your degree today from howard university. [cheers and applause] and don't you ever forget it. my own family has proudly been a
part of this university's legacy and history. my late grandfather, born as the son of sugar cane sharecroppers in rural louisiana in the year of plessi, 1896, graduated from howard university school of medicine in 1922. [cheers and applause] he returned to the segregated south of new orleans to practice medicine and found both an insurance company and a savings bank in a career that spanned 60 years. following that, no less than ten family members including my late father-in-law and my life, an award winning cbs news cor spot who finished howard school of communications in 1989 --
[cheers and applause] are proud members of the family. you make me complete today with this honorary degree, for i am now and forever shall be a proud howard university bison. [cheers and applause] now, class of 2011, the world that you face is a world in the throws of change and transformation from egypt and syria to right here in the united states, change and transformation and uncertainty is ever present. from the growing economic power of india and china to the presence of a black man in the white house -- [cheers and applause] this nation has come a long way since the freedom riders of 50 years ago, left campuses including howard to go to work
to change the american south, and as you look beyond the mountain top you've climbed today towards the horizon, you'll look out and see valleys and hill tops and rivers and streams, you'll see mountains in the distance that you must traverse, challenges ahead of you. i want to lead you today and ask you to keep three simple words in mind. those are three words that begin with the letter "e". the first is excellence, second is equality, and the third is expectation. the first e is excellence. whether we are talking about oprah winfrey, barak obama, barry red, sidney, or thurgood marshall, or thomas friedman, we
are witnesses to lives that have been committed to excellence. oprah winfrey is where she is today because she's simply the best. barak obama is where he is today because he is simply the best. some in the world today accept mediocrity and excuses. i want to see the graduates of 2011 accelerate themselves in their lives through an absolute commitment to being the best you can be in everything you do. you can be good mothers, good father, good husbands, good wives, good life partners, good community service, great doctors and lawyers and musicians and communicators, whatever profession you choose, commit to be the best. recently, we saw a clash between
the commitment to excellence and the commitment to mediocrity. mediocrity occurred when donald trump -- [laughter] when donald trump perfected mediocrity in political discussion by obsessing about birth certificates. while he was obsessing about birth certificates, barak obama was getting osama bin laden. [cheers and applause] what i say today is donald, you got your birth certificate, you got bin laden, what do you want now? the second e is to commit to equality. you must work for a more just and equitable nation and global community.
an america which will not tolerate poverty, deep poverty amidst great prosperity, a nation which does not tolerate 40% of its young black children not finishing high school on time each year, an america which would cut aid to education to housing, to health care, and children while main taping huge subsidies in tax loopholes for the wealthiest interests in this nation. we can want be comfortable. we cannot be comfortable when the great recession has cost millions of people their jobs and millions of people their homes. we cannot be comfortable with a future where the wealth gap in this nation between those who have, those who have not, and those who have more is on the rise. class of 20 is -- class of 2011, please do not
fall prey to commercialism, materialism, and militarism. your task like the freedom riders of 50 years ago, like the students that challenge the vietnam war, like those who sat in at the lunch counters are the students a generation ago who marched and later became young advocates who carried that spirit of change to their workplace and their communities. you must have the courage. you must have the commitment. you must have the compassion. you must have the passion to work for social and economic equality for all. you can do well. you can have a great job. you can have a good life by doing good in the community. the two go hand in hand. [applause] i hope that the class of 2000
will be the future leaders who rebuild the nation's economy for jobs for all who will fix the nation's schools, who will build a global enterprise, that will produce a more just and equitable nation and a more just and equitable global community. class of 2011, the second e is equality. the third e is to commit to high expectations, a nation and a people and a person which expects failure will fail, a nation and a people and a person that expects second class citizenship and second class outcomes will remain there. you are living proof today that any child, i child who grows up anywhere is a child who can succeed and become a college graduate.
researcher who will find a cure for almost difficult diseases. somewhere in this audience today is a future the justice of the united states supreme court who will stand on the shoulders of half a good marshall. somewhere in this audience today is a great journalist and a communicator who will follow in the footsteps of the undergraduates who have gone on to success in that profession. on eighth look out today and see future governors and mayors and members of congress, future presidents of universities, the teachers of children, principles of high school, heads of the federal department, military leaders, physicists, biologists, and also i predicted that the class of 2011 you will produce a future president of the united
states. [applause] [cheering] and she will make history, too. [applause] [cheering] so, class of 2011, you can be whomever you want to be and whoever you choose to be. hold fast to high expectations. a great writer once wrote you have brains in your heads and feet in your shoes. you can steer yourself in any direction that you choose. on your own and you know what you know, and you are the one who will decide where to go. today, i ask parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty members, administrators to join me today saying that anyone who thinks that the glass is half-empty need only look at the
beautiful talented promising drug to the tower university class of 2011, the glass is half full. [applause] on this day of celebration, i ask you to join me in saying that we are one howard university and we are in power. we are one howard university and we are inspired. we are one howard university, and we are powerful, magnificent and courageous. we are 100 university and the servants, one hubbard university and class of 2011. this is your time to name and claim your leadership role in the 21st century america. committed to excellence, the quality and high expectations. but also, stand today on the great shoulders of the former graduates of harvard university.
you stand on the shoulders of kenneth clark and john jacobs and vernon jordan. [applause] you stand on the shoulders of cathy hughes and edward brooks. you stand on the shoulders of judge robert carter, meir david and shirley franklin. you stand on the shoulders of the attorney general pamela harris and douglas wilder. you stand on the shoulders of the ambassador andrew young, general benjamin davis, laurie, toni morrison, and yes, michele miller. you stand on the shoulders of all of the mothers and fathers and grandmothers who are here today who have gone before us and who struggle and sweat and who bled and year-end, who sacrificed and borrowed and scolded and nurtured, who
tolerated each and every one of you. you stand on all of their shoulders today. so, howard university class, let us the united, let us be united under god, indivisible with liberty, justice, and a commitment to excellence, the quality and high expectations for all. congratulations. this is your mission. this is your moment. good luck and godspeed. [applause] [applause]
innovation. this is 15 minutes. [applause] thank you very much of the faculty and all of the administration for this great honor. welcome retrievers, it's great to be here. thanks for that introduction and for the artery degree of doctor of public service. i like the sound of that. it's going to come in handy the next time someone asks about my provincial to serve president obama's jogging competitive council. but first, i have a confession to make to all of the students out there today. you've worked for for very long here's years for your diploma. i showed it this morning at 10 a.m. and all of a sudden i mayor? [laughter] doesn't seem quite right but i do have one thing going for me.
ge will higher for hunter college graduates this year and we have a strong recruiting relationship to a school here and credibility with your parents so think you and congratulations to the class of 2011 and your family and friends completed the course of instruction and you are prepared for their challenges. you deserve the praise that he received today and under the leadership of the president, umbc has become a leader in higher education. it's already been said today that for the second year in a row the second world report recognized umbc as a top up-and-coming university in the country. it's a world-class university with a commitment to high-tech research. and in its efforts to make the school place where it is cool to be smart, he's made some unconventional choices. as u.s. news put it he recruits brainy asks the way some schools recruit quarterbacks. in fact he decided not to fund diversity football program to
give scholarships to undergraduates and formed a chess team. i have to admit i had mixed feelings about that. [laughter] i played football in college and i don't play chess. but i did graduate with a degree in applied mathematics, can certainly agree to a university where mathelets are cool. there's been changes since he took the helm and i've seen them. i'm a member of the umbc family. hell, i've even been to the roof with friedman. [laughter] and lived to tell the story she's part of the connections to umbc, we share your vision of developing the best one to not the world. we've been recruiting here for 12 years. we've participated in your disability days since the inception and we've recruited gransta many of our leadership programs. like you when you're committed to developing a lot work force and science and technology. your alumni working most of our businesses and the arctic credit to our company but few of the march 8.
people like brian, joshua ballart and louise carroll all worked at ge. i ask them to stand that might have to tell them to get back to work. [laughter] imagination, not knowledge, albert einstein said is the intelligence. imagination is the engine of innovation and problem solving and that's something we understand very well at ge and at umbc. there are many opportunities, all kind occupations for you to lose your -- use your learning to fulfill your potential and to make the world better. i'm going to speak to you today about the world i work in. i want to give you a sense of who we need you to be and more importantly what we need to to work on together. there will be opportunities no matter what you do there will be opportunities for you to lead. to make a difference to the world and to each other. your leadership is not a chore. its current and not declared. leaders are authentic people who are comfortable in their own skin. as i've said, i was a math
major. i like to solve problems. that's what i get up every day trying to do better. i love my job but not because i want to be famous or powerful, but to be judged by what i do and not my title. good leaders are both curious and humble. no task is believe a good leader. learning to enjoy common tasks with others is the way the best curriers are built. it never stopped being jury is because you mistakenly think you know everything. in 1989i let ge appliance service business we had a catastrophic refrigerator and had to replace over 3 million compressors. to understand what went wrong and to learn from the failure i knew i had to personally learn how to fix compressors so why did. i went into people's homes to fix flake request wind let me tell you there's no way to learn from failure or to be humbled them for a math major to sit on someone's kitchen floor while the ice-cream melts. good leaders are transparent.
that means more than just being honest. you have to be open in spirit and conduct and don't discourage disagreement, welcome it. even if you reject an alternative idea, appreciate and give fair consideration, learn to value diversity of fought. good leaders are smart risktakers, live your dreams. but don't jump at something just for the hell of it. a look ahead. the best leaders are determined risktakers have done all the homework they could and are accountable for their decisions. i run a large company with hundreds of thousands of employees and millions of shareholders. during the 2008 financial crisis i had to make a lot of very big decisions very quickly. but even in that intense environment, i made an informed decision even if i didn't have a chance to acquire complete knowledge. we had to act fast and listen to our team. i trusted them and they trusted me. most importantly, leaders are good team builders. make your work about more than you're own success.
when i graduated from college i was sure i could compete on my own. but what i learned is more satisfying to teach them to compete. my father used to see the bigger the education was the society's equalizer. it could make a poor man rich. but being rich isn't just about making money. it's about having a purposeful life the benefits others as well. for me the most satisfying accomplishment is to help making confidence and learn to compete for themselves. in 1978, i sat review due today. the future looks different to us than the present for you. if you imagine the extent of the information technology will loosen or envisioned the global marketplace as it exists today with all of its challenges and opportunities. in 1978, china was a large populous nation with an unproductive economy, not the economic powerhouse it is today. but we don't have to look of a back to ancient history when i was an undergraduate to see the
rapid and often unexpected changes that cause us to rethink the assumptions of the future. just look to the recent experiences of the century. the end of the 1990's seemed like a period of unprecedented prosperity we are full of confidence in our assumption would carry us to even greater success in the new century. and in the first a recession ensued. our country was attacked and the two words began. a hurricane nearly destroyed new orleans. last year and oil spill went on taft for nearly three months and recently japan suffered a devastating earthquake in the nuclear crisis. new economic powers in china, india, brazil, became even stronger competitors and the housing market collapsed and the global financial crisis plunged the united states to the worst recession of the great depression. the debt crisis in europe rather the market. america's own fiscal situation and the concern we won't achieve the political consensus required
is worrying people around the world to look at the u.s. to lead. it's been an eventful decade to say the least. the global economy has really been reset. but you know you're ready for this. your college malveaux is learning for a living. you are ready for this crazy world. but first, today everybody in this room, every graduate is going to make a choice. will you be a cynical complainer, a victim who fears the future while blaming others, believing that is the easiest and most popular path or will you be a hard-working problem solver who is dedicated to creating a new and better world. we need to solve a few of these problems. but we must adapt, we must compete and we must change. from g.i. can do a lot to improve our country but i need your help. first we must get back to doing the things that gave our competitive advantage in the
first place making innovative products that need important contemporary needs. this make the commitment to u.s. manufacturing competitiveness. many assume this country could transition from being a technology base export economic powerhouse to a service lead consumption based economy without any serious loss of prosperity, and that assumption was proven tragically wrong. but i don't think that there is anything inevitable that america's equine if we are prepared and determined to reverse it. we've dramatically changed our own company in the last decade and invested in technology. we wanted to make sure that it was a good at making things, and to that and we have been sourced production and the infrastructure business has grown in the last two years announced 16,000 manufacturing jobs of the united states and high-tech services and manufacturing. second, everybody in this room, no matter what your profession, is going to have to learn how to
live in a global marketplace. the fact is that 95% of the population lives outside the united states to the we can only grow as a country by learning how to do more business with people all side of the united states. energy exports of grown from $7 billion in 2007 and 20 billion in 2010, and we are talking of the great markets of our time. we've globalist the markets and customers but not cheap labor. today we go to china and india because that is for the customers are and the future prosperity of the country will be determined by how we will fare in the global marketplace. third, every company in the united states and umbc is at the end of this has to invest more innovation to be successful. we've tripled our investment over the last decade. we've always been good of the science advancement but it's important for everybody in this room to also be good at the science of science read that's how jobs created and that is how
the prosperous future get set. over the past year she invested billions. when you fly on an airplane but 70% of all commercial air travel use of our engines. this allowed us to create thousands of high-paying jobs. a technical leadership is the only path to long term success. fourth, we focus on building innovative products that address the big social issues of our time. we should be focused on finding real solutions for infrastructure, energy and affordable health care. these are the pillars that are going to decide long-term competitiveness for the u.s.. to crises, one in the middle east and one in japan make us understand the critical role that energy plays in the economy. while they reemphasize the need for more domestic supply, fuel diversity and new technology and while nuclear may be questioned it's important to the future. but how many times did you have to watch massive price increases of gasoline before this country
does something about it? i truly believe the u.s. could achieve energy security and create millions of high-paying jobs that we need to commit to it. similarly the problems of the american health care system will tikrit innovation to solve the and we are a be delivered because i let my lifetime we can treat major diseases more effectively in the lower cost and we can greatly reduce the tragic impact of breast cancer may be cured completely. chris cancer is diagnosed more than 200 million american women each year and millions of side of the united states and other our advancements in screening diagnoses and treatments and through the innovation we can spot this earlier and treated more effectively. in addition, we can deliver this treatment to every patient rich and poor alike that it takes determination. and last and most importantly, we need to improve the teamwork between the government and business and history proved the free market economies where
private initiatives and individual freedom are the great engines of progress. but business and government should work together to improve our competitiveness. the government can work with business to improve the conditions and expand and create jobs. but it can't create and sustain those jobs for us. that's our job. the dynamism and competitiveness and innovation of the markets allow america to lead the world for generations coming and we can succeed again today. but we have to invest more of our cash in the american worker particularly in manufacturing. and in the last year we moved 2,000 manufacturing software jobs back to the united states to china, india and mexico and virginia and montana and workers can compete and they must be given the chance and of free difficult time in the country to any higher paying jobs have left the u.s.. people feeling hopelessness the left behind by mistakes of
others and frequently the skills eroded so they no longer can compete. when people lose confidence in their future they act on their fears and about their hopes. but anger, cynicism and populism don't create jobs, don't create growth, don't create progress. dingley create fear. and there's nothing more country to your character to the character of all americans to this kind of hopelessness. i hit to tell you that the american dream is not dead. we didn't respond as well as we could have won the world embraced the same economic values we have always championed but this all can change. every bit of it. could it depends on you. you must believe that you personally make a difference and work for our success. the values of a college education is to fill a life filled with hope.
a life without fear. solving problems is the great opportunity and umbc has prepared to fourth. it's prepared year to make your own valuable contributions to human progress and live a fulfilling and purposeful lives in the process. every american generation, every american generation has the chance to be the greatest generation. every generation faces challenges that look daunting at the time, but they were not an end to our progress, they are the beginning of another chapter in the story of our extraordinary success. i have every confidence that you are up to the task and the world with the better your accomplishments. the source of my optimism is my great confidence in the power of young people. you are the best response to cynicism. so show the world what you can do. i was a little sad when i graduated from college. i knew i would miss my friends and i was really very worried
that i had had all the fun i was ever going to have. but i am happy to report there's some pretty amazing days ahead. so congratulations to the class of 2011 and welcome to the beginning. be true to yourself. [applause] be true to yourself and honest with others and is a curious be humble, brave and make your purpose bigger than you're own success. make a choice, make a choice today. to the small group of optimistic, hard-working problem solvers live your life without cynicism, live your life without fear. think you for allowing me to be a big part of your day. retrievers go get them. [applause]
now, the 102nd annual commencement at sweet briar college in virginia this year's commencement speaker is a former junk food eaters and decided to create healthy snacks in her kitchen and is the creative director for general mills who bought her health food company had hired her. america's story of healthy eating and of japan your ship has been featured in articles and "fortune magazine," "the new york times," people and on oprah. her speech titled anything is possible is ten minutes.
[applause] thank you, president carter. it's an honor to be here on such a momentous day. i want to congratulate all of you graduates on your remarkable accomplishments. the next step to the great at venture of your lives. 21 years ago i sat in your shoes wondering what i would do in my life and all honesty i had no idea. maybe some of you have the same feelings today but i am here to tell you you don't have to have it all figured out. when i sat at my graduation with my parents and extended family in attendance i worried the entire time i wasn't going to pass a political science exam i had taken today's prior and get
my diploma. needless to say i love the sixth lady my graduation. i didn't end up passing the exam and earned my diploma. so you might imagine i chuckled to myself when i got the invitation to your commencement speaker to be thinking of myself 21 years ago. being a commencement speaker was the last thing i imagined myself doing. in fact, i had taken a public speaking class in college thinking thankfully i will never have to do that again. and here i am today. i'm startled to be here to share my stories and adventures past graduation and to let you know that anything is possible. >> pure i was just out of college wondering what's next. my parents retail business and thought maybe this is what i should do. after all, they had some success and naturally i wanted to be just like them. but it really wasn't my attention so i began to search and realize that i had a passion for helping disadvantaged kids
and wanted to make a difference in their lives. dalia played in my psychology degree to become a social worker. i enjoyed my career and put my heart and soul into it but ten years later something began to change for me. i wasn't as excited about what i was doing so i imagined new possibilities. i began and all my free time outside work and began experimenting and reading and cooking about health and nutrition. so at 30-years-old i took a leap of faith and decided to lead my career and start over. my message to you is don't be afraid to take that leap of faith and all your true passion even if the change you never know where they are going to take you. taha horse then one day in the spring of may 200010 years after the graduation. i was in the top of the mountain in a trail mix and thought to myself i had to send somebody made a product that is truly healthy native fruits and nuts
but tasted delicious like you shouldn't be eating it. remember i used to be that junk food kit? at that moment i experienced a intuitive mahmudiyah thought to myself i can do this. i felt excitement, willingness, passion, all wrapped into one and feeling of on stability and literally ran down the mountain that day and began writing down ideas. i got of ireland and began experimenting. i come to the curse restore on il's for inspiration from flavors from cakes, pa and cookies and bring test batches to my friends and co-workers on their lunch hour. they were my earlier focus groups and they were honest and not only did they give me great feedback essentially somebody asked me to buy ivies from you? this is the inspiration i needed to keep going. i learned that it's important to follow toward intuition and surround yourself with people that support you and your dreams. i'm excited and ambitious thinking i can get the company going and three months. how 90's is that? i found out this isn't going to
happen and i needed to work to support myself. so i thought why not get a job a local wholefoods. i figured i could learn about the industry from the inside out while getting paid. many people felt i was crazy. hero was 3-years-old fox tv crews talking grocery store shelves paid $10 an hour? that isn't what you aspire to in your college graduation day but i didn't love other people's opinions detour me. it was fueled for me to keep going, work hard and stay true to my own vision and dreams. on my days off and made phone calls and talked to anyone that would help me figure out what i needed to know from understanding shall fly to manufacturing equipment to buy and commodities. it was like finding a needle in a haystack but i love the challenge. there were hard days and weeks when i felt like i got absolutely nowhere and thought how bad it would be to give up but i persevered. it turns out working at wholefoods was one of the best decisions i ever made because two years later when i was talking trash out one morning i
ran across the region will my ear and he said in a very nice and polite way how's it going? what's new? and i thought to myself this is the opportunity. so i jumped at it and said let me tell you what's new and he was taken aback. he wasn't expecting me to tell him anything. he said will likely here for two more hours, do you have samples? luckily i had samples in my kitchen at home in plastic bags and a chinese takeout box so i presented my product in a very informal way and he said to me these are the most exciting things i've tried and so long i love this this is such an innovative product. when you're lucky i will let you bring them to the colorado stores. this was all i needed to cure. sometimes your opportunity to seize the moment happens in the most humble settings. in my case next to a trash can. i had the green light from wholefoods which seemed like the hard part but the biggest challenge of starting was
finding a place to manufacture. i drove all over colorado hauling a 400-pound mixture going from manufacturer to manufacturer trillion to find a place to land. my dad and i finally found a kitchen space, the equipment we needed and began a self manufacturing. because all of the set taken longer the unexpected, all of the investors we had lined up got cold feet and back out to read this is what i learned not to let other people's lack of confidence affect my vision of what i thought was possible. i decided to keep going and eventually launched into bills and 33 years after i planned. the night before the debut i gathered family and friends to make the first batch of bars all 500 made by hand using pizza cutters and a sheet sealer and it took 15 hours. the next morning i remembered stalking the larabar on the store shelf next to the other products wondering what people even like these? to years later, i'm sorry, two
hours later i stood in the store cutting up samples of my creation and talking to people. i felt everything you could imagine, excitement, nervous, excited, anticipation and relief that i finally made it to the store shelves then people started sandlin and the responses i got were amazing. within a week season began the best-selling item in the store. so i knew i was on to something. the magic carpet ride had begun. the press began calling stores from all over the u.s. and internationally were contacting us. it became the talk of the town. it was so exciting but also the long hours and hard work just trying to keep up. but it was fun making it all happened and making up hour own rules along the way. two years after the launch we had challenges, too. we were becoming the brand to be. our competitors began knocking off products so we decided to launch it was -- time to launch a new bar. the new product we were excited to debut at the annual trade
show. products were known to be soft and chewy which was a unique quality in the industry and the minute i cut into the bars they were hard as a rock. it was my worst nightmare. we flew in food scientists, had a team of experts working on the issue but to no avail. we had to make a tough decision and recalled almost half a million cars out of distribution before we even got started. it was a disappointment but we knew what was the right thing to do, and if that wasn't enough, we got a letter from a large company saying we had a possible trademark infringement with a name we had chosen. needless to say, it was a long six months. we finally decided it was an excellent opportunity to rename the product and reformulate and move on. this is when i learned not to get stuck on the problem that figure out a solution and move forward and that failure is not the end of the world. we've actually launched our chocolate brand and the company continued to thrive. we build larabar to be one of the leading in the industry and delighted millions of people.
then in 2008 general mills contacted me about my company. i was open to the idea that tenet. we have built a company with $30 million the next set of challenges was ahead. i also knew my limitations. when i met with the company my intuition told me immediately that there was the right company to carry my grief for and to the future so in june of 2008 a day before my 40th birthday i sold my company to general mills to rely continue to be the creative director of the brand and work with people i hired as well as a larger group of wonderful people. when i had an inspiration 11 years ago i was simply following my intuition. it never occurred to me i was going to make a product that competed against multimillion-dollar business is not alone be bought by one. i simply followed my passion and wanted to see if i could make it happen. so, graduates, i would like to leave you with the following thoughts. discovery and cultivate your passion and your dreams.
you will experience more happiness and success doing what you love. be sure to listen to your intuition. it's the truest part of yourself and will always serve you well. don't be afraid to take risk and experience failures. these are the moment you learn the most from and they make you strong and wise. enjoy your journey. there is no right answer or formula. you are the architect of your own life and can make your own rules. and remember that anything is possible. congratulations and thank you. [applause]
she's also the older sister of the estate developer donald trump. mr. trump was in the audience to see his sister, receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement address at fairfield university in connecticut. judge very speeches 20 minutes. >> faculty, administration, members of the board of trustees
, my distinguished, lotteries, and let me just say on behalf of them, we are deeply grateful for the honor that has been accorded us today. and family and friends of the class of 2011, and friends of mine, i'm so happy to be here and welcome the class of 2011. [applause] this is one of the great days in your lives and you should savor every moment of it. how lucky you are and how lucky
you are to have been the recipients of a genuine education i thought about what i would say to you today. i've to give a lifetime to a number of commencement addresses that i have heard what is said and i know the typical commencement address is all about. from the outset i wanted to do something a little different for you, a little more personal, even though i'm a very private person who hasn't said some of what i'm guinn to tell you before. i've wanted to do this for two reasons. i revere the genuine who together with a face quite
literally saved my life when i lost my husband and my parents within a year of each other. if i can strike a chord with even some of you by being a little more forthcoming than i have to be i will do in their name. and if i say a little more - i have to say, you might be surprised at how much you, the class of 2011 and myself have in common unless you have been one of the lucky ones who's never been scared or never lacked confidence let me start with
this. neither of my parents had english as a first language. my father's father died when he was a teenager and went to work to support his mother and two siblings as a carpenter and as a builder's bid, hauling carts of lumber to construction sites when it was too icy for the mules to climb the hills. my mother was the daughter of a fisherman from outer scotland. the youngest of ten children. she came here at age 19 to be a nanny. i was the first one in my family
to go to college. my first year was tough. i was desperately homesick i was scared and i didn't do very well that year. but i graduated and i went on to be married and to become a full-time mother and only after being a full-time mother for 13 years ago to law school. my first job out of small school was one of two women assistant united states attorneys in an office at 62 assistant united states attorney's and the first woman to do criminal work, and it during the only before male judges and every day of my life,
and i will tell you between then and now there were some very tough years that only my son and i really know about. it has been said what ever does not destroy me makes me stronger i tell you a little of this and what you've learned along the way in hopes of encouraging those of you who even on this happy day of your life might be feeling a lull apprehensive, a
little scared. some people feel most of the lessons of life for learned early on there was a wonderful essay many years written by robert and he said what he really needed to learn about how to live and what to do and how to be. he learned in kindergarten and this is some of what he wrote. he said these are the things i learned, share everything, play fair, don't hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don't take things that aren't yours, say you're sorry when you heard someone, wash your hands before you eat, sang and danced
and play and work every day, take a nap every afternoon. when you go out in the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together, be aware of wonder. there is a lot of wisdom in there. again, doesn't it seem to very sweetly into great -- integrate living and learning and the very foundation of the genuine education? let me add a little of my own which is some learned since i was in the sandbox. now i'm going to mention the word success. i'm going to make something very clear. when i speak of success, i do not speak only of professional
success. success can be as simple as the warm feeling one gets if you see a stranger that you sense to be lonely and smiling at that stranger and have that stranger return your smile it can be bringing a child into the world and raising that child to be a good man or a good woman. i have always said my greatest success is my son it can be conquering a bad habit, it can be taken on a new good habit. how it can be reaching the goal to set for yourself but first of all remember this there is no substitute for good,
old-fashioned hard work. now i know there are things outside of one's self that can make the difference. ploch and the good lord are two of those things. but it's not enough to point to other people's success and attribute that solely to luck. by that we make our luck. you sell yourself is by working hard. new evidence, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. critical success is to come. reminded the story of the lock cover i thought of this as i was thinking of what i would say to you today who split into a camera on the 101st blow there are those who say that it was
the 101st blow that did it i disagree. it was the hundred blows before the one that made success on the 101st possible. determination, hard work, is essential to success whether one defines success as society defines it or whether one defines it quite simply as making something and someone just a little better. i've also learned we can do more than we think we can. we can be brave, we can be strong, we can be happier, we can be more successful in our personal relationships we can be more successful in our carrier but none of this comes without believing that we can do it and then give it our best shot with
courage, faith, hope and reveling in appreciating the many ways in which we grow and improved, never taking these things for granted. i'm speaking of attitude. i am speaking of enthusiasm of, i am speaking again of hard work you will never know what you can do unless and until you try you will find with every little success this year and the insecurities who gradually fade away, but even if you don't succeed in reaching a particular goal you grow from the trying, and then you try again.
samuel said no matter, try again, fail again, fail better or in the words of the wonderful scottish proverb, i am wounded but i am not slant. i shall lay me down and leave a while, then i shall rise and fight again. all my life i have worked hard to be a good daughter, a good mother, a good wife, the good sister, a good friend, a good lawyer, a good judge, and if i failed at any of these it was not the lack of trying and if you're troubled and when there are tough decisions to be made and there will be, and maybe when you are tired of trying i recommend to you and emmerson
jury to go to a few moments, maybe more of peace of reflection and prayer and critically, critically as you start on this next phase of your life never forget the importance of integrity of doing what is right of standing on a matter of principle father daniel said it will well. some stood up and sat down. others stood and stood and stood. so i come to believe what is probably the most important thing i have to tell you, at least it is to me.
to whom much is given, much is required. ignatius' linked love of god to the love of neighbor. no exercise is better for the human heart, it is said, than reaching down and lifting up another person. this is the heart of the living part of the integration of life and learning i referred to a moment ago this is the heart of what you've been taught, the vision of finding god in all things may get more than a vision. look around, see what needs to be done and do it because it's
right because you can do it if you tried. the judge which of this great university and their many dedicated colleagues have shown that they have faith in you. repaid that act of faith and do what ever you can to see that the sick are healed, the frightened or comforted, the lonely are visited and that you fulfill the purpose of the educational mission at fairfield to be the global citizens of this new and difficult world of now to be men and women or
others. i leave you with a terrible i heard some time ago and it stuck with me ever since. a man says to the lord lord, what is the difference between heaven and hell and the lord said come, i will show you, and she takes him into the room and there is a table in the center of the room, and on the table is a large pot of delicious looking and wonderfully selling this stew. sinnott the table are men and women who are clearly starving, miserable, holding a spoon is there much longer than their
arms, so they are not able to feed themselves. he then takes the man to another room, a table in the center of the room, big pot of delicious stew in the middle of the table. but seated around the table are obviously well fed and happy people also barry nist spellings longer than their arms. but, lord, is the difference, said the man. why are they so happy? because each other. i return to where i began. my parents lovingly gave me roots and wings. the roots that keep me committed to faith and family, and the