Remember to serve

Our daughter, Liliana, graduated from UT Austin this past weekend. As parents we’ve LOVED being part of the UT family for 5 years. Witnessing Liliana experiencing challenges as well as amazing achievements, seeing how she navigated the ups and downs of college life and playing with how we, as parents, find the balance between supporting her and fostering her independence, has been a joy. Liliana entered with dreams of being involved in film, she shared “it’s about time there was a female Spilberg!”, as her course developed, Liliana found herself dreaming of doing math problems and becoming fascinated with languages. The good news is with University of Texas there is flexibility and with Liliana there was enough tenacity for her to shift gears “mid stream” on her university path.

Liliana switched to complete a BSc in Comuter Science and utilized courses already taken to contribute to a BA in linguistics. 2 undergraduate degrees with the highest honor, acoomplished in 5 years is a huge achievement.

Celebrating at Graduation was a blast, we attended 4 ceremonies! Computer Science, Linguistics, Electrical Engeneriing (her boyfriend Carter) and the “grande finale” whole school outdoor evening celebration, where after amazing speeches and fabulous musical performances they light the UT tower orange. Here’s the speech by Michael Dell, urging graduates not just to succeed, but to serve.

If you’re ever in Austin around Memorial weekend and able to attend this public event (with or without knowing someone graduating) I highly recommend it. Give me a call, I’m going to do my best to be back, it was so magical!

Liliana is off on an extended European Vacation before relocating to Seattle having accepted a job with FaceBook. I’m excited to be taking a road trip to spend precious time with Liliana and help her move her car up there!! TBC

Some of my favorite lines from the speech include

There were plenty of skeptics and back-seat drivers. Actually, I thank them, because for me it was just motivation to prove them all wrong.
Many people never realize what they’re capable of because they’re afraid to make mistakes.

Many people don’t stand up for what’s right because they’re afraid to be wrong.

But that’s not how changing the world works. Unless you’re willing to take risks, you won’t have a chance to use your talents when and where they matter most.

So step up… and take risks.

Because the rewards—for you and the lives you change—will be worth it.