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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and we have a graduate research program. A graduate program, students come to the program to do their Ph.D. work, which means doing research in molecular biology. So the program attracts terrific students, and one of them was Carol, and then the students choose a lab and a project that they'll do research in, and I had the great good fortune that Carol chose to work in my lab.

Carol Greider: I remember the day that we actually met. It was during the interviews when I was interviewing for graduate schools, and I guess at Berkeley I had actually been accepted, and then I went around to talk to professors, just to decide whether I wanted to go there or not. And I had a great time in my conversation with Liz, and she was just very excited about what she was doing, and I was having such a great time talking to her, that the time went by so fast and I really wanted to know more. I remember I asked you if I could come back and talk a little bit more, because I was staying just up the road in Davis. And then, between when I came back and when I'd left, my father had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital, but I did everything I could to come down, because I was going to go back and talk to you some more. And that was sort of the thing that clinched for me that what I wanted to do was to go to Berkeley and to work in Liz's lab. Typically, one goes to a university and then chooses a lab once you go there, but that was my goal after meeting her.
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Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I think I was very lucky, because I knew I was interested in living things from -- very, very young. I grew up in Australia and I would -- my mother tells me this, you know, I have no direct recollection -- but I remember I would pick up little poisonous ants and poisonous jellyfish. There are a lot of poisonous creatures in Australia, and I would pick them up and sort of pet them, and I'd really like them. I was interested in them, and of course this was horrifying for my mother, who was a physician who could see the stinging and the potential biting that would take place, but I seemed to have lucked out. I never got bit by any of these. And I think I have just known for a long time I was fascinated by living things, so I loved animals. And then in high school, as I started learning about what's in living things, I got very fascinated by what was then called biochemistry. Protein chemistry was something that was the field then, and I got fascinated by -- what are the building blocks of living things -- cells and molecules.
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Norman Borlaug

Ending World Hunger

So I went over to see Dr. Stakman, who I had only met once about three weeks before the end of the term when I saw that this Dr. Stakman, a world famous plant pathologist, was giving a lecture on these shifty little enemies the fungi -- rust fungi -- that destroy our crops. So I went to hear this and he was one of the old storied professors. He'd move into a history of background of parasiticum, of the rust fungi, other fungi that were dangerous from the standpoint of our cereal crop, and I was fascinated. And I said as I left that room in mid-December of 1937, "If I ever have a chance to study in graduate school, I want to study under a person like this."
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J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

Harvard offered me to skip freshman year, and I thought that wasn't the point. And so, then when I was in a closer range to my classmates, I was a happy camper. God! I found that it wasn't so oddball to like music and poetry and visual arts, and there were kindred spirits there. I was in dramatics, I was president of the Harvard Glee Club -- which was the nearest thing to a professional organization -- as an undergraduate. We sang as the chosen chorus in those days of the Boston Symphony. We toured. We sang in Carnegie Hall, we recorded with RCA and won the Grand Prize for our Berlioz, sang all the great literature -- the Bach B minor, and the Passions, and Beethoven. I mean it was a fabulous opportunity. Three rehearsals a week, 50 concerts a year, and then the final summer a European tour, which was the first time since right after World War I that they'd done it. So, we were embraced with open arms by the Europeans, and we sang for the Pope in St. Peter's, and in Royal Albert Hall, and the Music Festival in Holland, and then Berlin over the radio. That was very rewarding to be there with a purpose, not just rubbernecking. We really felt needed and doing something for America and for Harvard, and also for ourselves.
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J. Carter Brown

Director Emeritus
National Gallery of Art

Retrospectively, I guess my greatest sense of satisfaction is the East Building of the National Gallery. Again: luck and timing. I was there when we had this extraordinary donor in Paul Mellon, and helped choose an extraordinary architect, I.M. Pei, with whom I worked for 10 years on this project. And to have it voted by the rank and file of the American Institute of Architects as one of the ten best American buildings of all time is rather satisfying and, people have voted with their feet. They come in there, you watch them as they enter the building, and you watch that jaw drop, and they put their finger on the name of the architect that's carved in the wall. We can't now get the oils out, we just leave it. And, people are enriched by what goes on there, and by the experience of being there. So, that does give one a certain sense of satisfaction of being a small part. I was one of a whole number of people who made that happen, but luckily I was part of it.
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