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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


John Hennessy

President of Stanford University

John Hennessy: When I started working on my Ph.D., two wonderful things happened. First of all, I found an interesting Ph.D. topic very early on in my graduate career, and it was just because something very unusual sprung up. Microprocessors were just coming out. It was the very beginning of the microprocessor age, and a research scientist from Brookhaven National Lab came over to the university, over to Stony Brook, and explained the interest he had in using microprocessors to solve a complex real-time control problem. And I began brainstorming with my Ph.D. advisor, and we thought about how to build a software system that would enable you to write this kind of software more easily, so I started on that research project. Happily and fortuitously, just as I was finishing up my Ph.D., this area exploded. Two of the major giants in the field started publishing papers in this field, and here I was, completing a Ph.D. in this field that all of a sudden had become tremendously important. So I hopped on the interview trail, convinced I wanted to be an academic. I ended up interviewing at 16 different universities. My wife was panicked that I was going to take her to some place where there are more cows than people, but my very last interview was at Stanford, and I knew that if they offered me a faculty position that I would go there, and that happened, and it was fortunate for both of us.
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John Hennessy

President of Stanford University

Integrated circuit technology was reaching the level where you could think about building a real computer, a 32-byte computer, on a single piece of silicon, a single chip. There were people who believed that you would just take what had been done earlier on many separate chips and transfer that over without rethinking the space, the design space, how you might make use of the fact that everything is on one chip. We stood back and asked the question, "Does this change the ground rules? Does this change the guidelines?" And for the first six months, I ran with a group of graduate students and a couple of other faculty members -- purely a brainstorming session -- to ask about how the ground rules might be changed. What did we know that could change things? I don't think we realized how big a change it would make in the field at the beginning. I think we just had some faith that this paradigm shift would create the opportunity for a big change, and we jumped on that faith and took the chance that it would happen. We really didn't know, probably for six or seven years, how big the change was really going to be.
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Lauryn Hill

Singer, Songwriter & Record Producer

I had gone through a lot, a huge emotional and spiritual battle prior to the creation of that album. And the funny thing is that while I was going in the battle, I couldn't see my hand to spite my face. I mean, I really couldn't see anything, because I was so emotionally entangled in everything that I've gone through. But it was like, once I was delivered from that situation, and once I got the perspective -- was able to look back at heartache, and look back at pain and disappointment -- for some reason it all was so clear. It was just like the picture started to form itself. The songs started to create themselves. I was able to look back and be a narrator of my own situation. But the interesting thing was that it couldn't happen while I was in the middle of the confusion.
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Sir Edmund Hillary

Conqueror of Mt. Everest

When I was very young I read about it, dreamed about it and when the opportunity came to do something about it I seemed to slip into it rather easily. Even the companionship that I made with similar friends in adventurous activities, I found very, very rewarding. Nothing is better fun that sitting down with a group of your peers who've done similar sort of things and just talking about your experiences. Maybe boasting a little bit here and there too, but sharing experiences that you all appreciate, you all know have been frightening and dangerous and have been successful.
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Sir Edmund Hillary

Conqueror of Mt. Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary: I did have -- definitely -- one heroic figure who impressed me very much indeed, and that was the great Antarctic explorer, Shackleton. Shackleton I always admired because he was a tough man and a very good leader. And whenever he was in difficult circumstances, which he frequently was, he seemed to have the great ability to inspire his men and lead his party safely out of those conditions. So certainly Shackleton, I would have said, more than anything, was a role model for me. And later on, when I was down in the Antarctic myself and doing various adventures, I really felt that I tried to behave perhaps a little bit more like Shackleton, than any of the other famous Antarctic explorers.
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