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Rick Darnaby offers OSU graduates advice about success PDF  | Print |
Saturday, 12 December 2009 20:33



(STILLWATER, OK – December 12, 2009) – Rick Darnaby, international business strategist  and a 1978 graduate of Oklahoma State University, encouraged the Fall 2009 graduating class at OSU to become “masters” and “meet people” during his commencement address.

Darnaby addressed two commencement ceremonies for undergraduates today at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.  Approximately 1,500 students were awarded degrees during the undergraduate ceremonies and Friday’s graduate commencement.     

“Do something good, become a master of something.  Then get caught at it,” Darnaby told the seniors.  “And meet more people.” 

Much of his speech focused on five “masters” and “people meters” that have inspired him.  After talking about their impact and accomplishments, he told the students all five are fellow OSU graduates.  He spotlighted:

Wally Funk, a world-renowned female aviator who was admitted to NASA to prepare women for space flight, 1960 graduate
Dr. Dianne Gates-Anderson, a chemical engineer with Livermore Labs working to neutralize the effects of a dirty bomb, 1982 graduate
Dr. Linda Livingstone, Dean of the Business school at Pepperdine University, 1982 graduate who also earned her Master’s and Doctorate from OSU
Ed Roberts, inventor of the first PC, 1968 graduate
Chris Scalet, chief information officer of Merck Pharmaceuticals Inc., 1982 graduate 

Most of what people learn they learn from the people they meet, Darnaby said.  He urged the new graduates to turn down the news, do their own research, learn the information themselves, and then draw their own conclusions.

Darnaby told the students in the face of change they had two choices -- be a victim or be a beneficiary.  “To benefit, you must bring something of value to the world and have the world reward you for it.  This is called innovation,” he said.  “It is the key for people in all professions.”

He said we are moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age.  “The new frontier is resting about half way between your left ear and your right ear,” he said.  “Conceptualization deals with the processing of data and, for now, it can only be performed by people.  People like you.”

Darnaby said when OSU President Burns Hargis talks about creativity and innovation he is “describing the new pillars of excellence in higher education; developing new capabilities to use our brain.”

Darnaby, of Montecito, Calif., has led a number of high-tech global businesses, including The NutraSweet Company and Motorola Company in Europe.  He is known for his innovative leadership style and creativity.  Currently Darnaby is the managing partner of three Conceptual Age consulting firms serving high technology industries. The firms provide council and coaching in innovation leadership, conceptual business strategy, and optimization of intellectual property.