Diane Sawyer announced this morning on Good Morning America that CMU professor, Randy Pausch passed away last night. I heard about Professor Pausch last April when I heard about and watched his presentation, “Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” recorded at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007. Just before the lecture Pausch was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and told in August 2007 that he had three to six months of good health left. He joked during the lecture that he’d finally nailed the venue.
Following the lecture Pausch garnered national and international attention with appearances on Oprah, Good Morning America, and before a Congressional committee in support of cancer research. Much more than having his fifteen minutes of fame, Pausch continued to “teach” through the example he set: bravely doing what he could to fight his cancer and seeing to the future needs of his children and wife. Even as the effectiveness of his treatments diminished Pausch made a surprise appearance at Carnegie Mellon’s May 18th 2008 commencement ceremony:
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!” – from The Last Lecture
Professor Pausch will be missed but his message and even more importantly, his spirit, will live on in the students and colleagues he has inspired. I know that I have been touched and inspired by my brief exposure to this incredible man’s life. jbb
Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Randy Pausch’s testimony to the Labor, Health and Human Services
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PSA with Dr. Randy Pausch
Music: What Matters from the album “In Reverse” by Matthew Sweet