Transformational Education > A new way of teaching
Thomas J. Tierney (MBA 1980) on memorable advice from Professor Wick Skinner
One of my favorite professors was Wick Skinner. And Wick was very, very tough on the outside, and gentle and caring on the inside. When graduation was approaching, it's the end of the second year, Wick invited me over to his house. I said, "Mr. Skinner, you want me over to your house?" He said, "Yes."
So over I went to his house. I'll never forget. I went inside the house and he said, "Have a seat." And I sat down on the sofa. He said, "I have some advice for you." I was kind of anxious. I figured this was advice about graduation. Maybe I wasn't gonna graduate. Who knows? And he said—He looked at me and he said, "Never get comfortable."
And I've reflected on that since, "Never get comfortable," in that I have one life to live. I have a certain set of gifts, modest possibly. And never getting comfortable is about putting those gifts to work. And that was a gift that day, that professor Skinner gave me. And what he impressed upon me in a way that has stuck with me all these years is to aim high, is to go for whatever I think I can go for, and never rest on my laurels.