It was 2002, a hot summer afternoon at the beach in North Carolina. Bruce and I were lounging on the upstairs deck of the beach house he rented for a week every July 4th. I told him about the project management course that many of my co-workeres had signed up for the previous January and dropped out because it was so much work.
The course was one of the first offerings in a new graduate program offered by my company in conjunction with Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The program, I explained to Bruce, included five professional certificates and, ultimately, a masters degree. To get there required ten courses like the one that so many of my co-workers had found too challenging to complete. But for all the drop-outs, there was a group who had completed it, and who were signing up for more courses in the fall. Everything tuition, textbooks, and visits by the professors every three weeks was paid for by my company.
"It seems to me that if my company was offering to pay for a masters degree, I wouldn't hesitate to sign up," Bruce said. He could sometimes be a master of understatement.
Four years later as I accepted my diploma on a stage in an auditorium in Dallas, I silently thanked my brother who did not live long enough to see me see it through for giving me the right perspective at the right moment.
Join me now on a trip to Dallas for Graduation.