The Global Village


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.