Francis "Bud" J. Dougherty '60
Retired United States Navy and President and CEO, Transformational Defense Industries, Inc.
Remarks on receiving a Distinguished Alumni Award
Thank you very much for this honor. I gratefully accept on behalf of my fraternity brothers and classmates who served our country in military service.
A few years after my graduation while serving in the Navy, I was asked what I had learned in college. I replied that I learned how to think, communicate, express my thoughts in a rational way and make sound judgments. In many ways, I attribute this to the education I received here at Gettysburg. That foundation was most helpful in making many difficult and often quick decisions, some involving life and death and the welfare of those in my commands as well as some very expensive Navy jets and ships.
In a bit of reminiscence, Dr. Joe Wolfinger acquainted us with the majesty, beauty and precision of our language. His Shakespeare class, often conducted through small clouds of cigarette smoke, it was quite liberal in those days, enlightened us with the bard's fulsome understanding of the human condition with its many foibles and predilections.
Professor Dick Shubart, presided over lively discussions of the literature, concepts and ideas of our western civilization. These sessions were characterized by a free, unencumbered and respectful dialogue. Looking back, the highlight of these seminars was a tolerance for differences of opinion.
I am proud to be a graduate of our fine College and grateful for the education that prepared me for an exciting life adventure as a Naval officer in the service of our great country. In my second career in the business world I was equally prepared and well served by that background.
My hope is that the open, spirited and tolerant discussions of ideas are still paramount today in Gettysburg's classrooms. In closing, to those leaving campus for the challenges ahead, I encourage all to pursue a path that in later years will reward with the satisfaction of knowing that one's life was well spent.
Thank you again for this recognition and award today.
Posted: Fri, 21 May 2010
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