In 2007, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University captivated and inspired viewers around the world with his last lecture before dying of cancer.
Now it’s a national tradition for professors and administrators nationwide to offer students final words of wisdom before the school year comes to a close.
At North Central College, the head of the cardinal family, President Hal Wilde gave the last lecture at Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center.
Wilde became North Central College’s ninth president in 1991. 21 years later, he has announced he’s retiring but before doing so, he wanted to give students and the community some words to live by.
“In your dealings with others, always assume good faith and put yourself in their shoes,” said Wilde, who’s said he’s given thousands of speeches throughout his tenure but never before has he addressed the audience not as the college’s president but as a common man.
“As you confront fears about money, debt, joblessness, raising a family, illness and tragedies, you are not alone,” said Wilde.
About 150 students came to hear his speech, many walking away inspired.
“I think I’m going to take away what his mom had said that to always look at the good in people instead of focusing on the past or on the negative,” said junior Derek Sanderson. “I think that’s an important aspect that a lot of people forget.”
“I just felt like he’s supported us for so long and it felt like the right thing to do to support him when he’s leaving and I’m leaving and it just was bitter-sweet,” said Anika Shain, a senior at the college.
After the speech, Wilde gathered outside the auditorium to celebrate his 67th birthday with his wife Benna and extended Cardinal family.
President Wilde will retire in December after the Fall term.
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