August 2012 etched a special memory for the MSTM graduates of 2012. Their academic journeys had reached yet another pinnacle. They challenged the rigorous and demanding schedule. They persevered waves of assignments, discussions and projects. Victory had never tasted so sweet when they excelled. These graduates realized the MSTM program had sculpted them to be individuals with well-rounded skills to face competitive market.
This is what can we reflect in Nick Timmons’ graduation speech. As a member of the MSTM family, Nick Timmons distinguished himself by being active, ready to contribute, and challenging the limit by being an exemplary leader for his friends. There was little surprise that he was selected as one of the student speakers in the MSTM graduation event. However, in an early part of his speech, Nick pointed out that it was not individual effort that makes the MSTM program so special. Effective collaboration and ‘Herculean effort’ from all were the core of success in MSTM.
Nick also reminded us in his speech of the importance of not dwelling in temporary success. He quoted Steve Jobs, “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” We should not be blinded by the sunlight after we successfully climb one summit. There are limited opportunities for each and every individual. Find higher peak, climb your way through and feel more of the sun’s warmth.
Nick did not reminiscence much on the memories, he instead cannot help imagining what the future holds. He reflected his excitement in Mr. Hawking’s reply on meaningful life. "One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away."
Nick also quoted Lombardi’s words about competition, ”But I firmly believe, that in any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
Although both quotes were referring to different context, we see that the story of success springs from the same source: hard work. It is true that hard work and dedication does not guarantee success, but success certainly does not come from half-hearted dedication. Nick’s speech reflected the very embodiment of individuals in MSTM, faculty, staff and students alike. I am honored to have the opportunity of being a part of this family. --- Nick Timmons