Completion. What a wonderful feeling!

Friday, May 19th, 2006
This past week, I graduated  with a business degree in Organizational Management. I worked hard, and I managed, with God's grace, to keep my grades up throughout the entire program, graduating Summa Cum Laude, with a GPA of 3.988.

I want to publicly thank the Lord for this opportunity and I want to extend my thanks to the many people who have helped, encouraged and supported my efforts.  My next action is a significant one, I will be working toward my Master of Information and Knowledge Management degree.

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I could not have managed the demands of family, clients, business, and my education, without a great deal of determination, love and support from my wife and children, and my extended family, friends, classmates and clients. My suite of eProductivity tools, along with the Getting Things Done skill's that I've acquired while serving The David Allen Company, also came in handy for managing the multiple projects and actions I needed to complete along the way.

A brief narrative of my journey follows ...

Four years ago, I set out to accomplish a very important goal: to complete a college degree, a course of study I began at age 16. You see, when I was in college the first time, computer science was all the rage. I took every computer course I could, starting with Assembler language on the IBM 370 Mainframe and the Xerox 530 batch system.  With my 40WPM hunt-and-peck typing skills, I was as fast on the IBM 029 Keypunch machine and ASR 33 Teletype as anyone in the computer center. Then, the Heathkit company announced a second generation build-it yourself computer kit - the Heathkit H8 Microcomputer. I had to have one, and I worked for a year to save the money to get one. While my friends were saving for cars, I bought a computer with no keyboard or CRT, just an Octal keypad and a set of 7-segment LED displays.

Eric and his home-built H8 Computer.jpg

To pay for my computer habit, and seeing the opportunities that computers would bring, I did what so many computer science majors (including Bill Gates and many others in this growing field) did: I dropped out of college so that I could build and study computers day and night. With the help from my college professor, I rented my first office and started my own computer consulting business.

Eric in Training Center (1982).jpg

By the time that IBM introduced the PC my business was booming, with clients across the country. I began consulting and training at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force base.

Eric, training at the AFFTC circa 1982.jpg

I continued to study - sometimes for several hours a day . I studied a variety of business and computer subjects. I read books, went to seminars, and taught at professional conferences. I guess you could say that while my formal schooling stopped many years ago, my education has been focused and continuous.

But I digress.  Fast-forward 20 years.

Not having a degree was not a problem for more than 20 years, until I was asked to teach an technology course at  The Master's College. I was more than qualified technically, but I was academically unqualified. For the first time in my life, the lack of a college degree became an obstacle. I decided that I did not want that to happen again. I also wanted to show my daughters that even though dad had a successful company, a university education was to be highly regarded.  I wrote down a someday/maybe to look into various degree completion alternatives.

Four years ago, my wife suggested that I might want to resume my college education. I laughed. Business was slow, the post DOT.COM/stock market crash/Sept 11 economy was not doing well. I did not see how I could spend the money for tuition and take additional time away from business development in order to study.  Kathy asked me to pray about it. I wasn't too sure about the timing, but knowing the wisdom of my wife and her track record, I agreed to do this. The Lord unmistakably opened several doors and a few months later, with letters of recommendation from my pastor, friend and client, David Allen, and a few others, I applied to The Center for Professional Studies, at The Master's College.

Fast forward four years and many hours of dedicated study.

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The 79th Commencement Ceremony of
The Master's College.  (May 12, 2006)

The commencement address was delivered by Dr. Robert Provost, President of Slavic Gospel Association in Loves Park, Illinois. The closing charge to the graduates was delivered by Dr. John MacArthur, President of The Master’s College.

20060512 - _Graduation - Waiting my turn.jpg Graduated Summa Cum Laude, 2006
I'm up next

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My 15 seconds of fame, with our college president, Dr. John MacArthur

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The 2006 Organizational Management Graduates of Cohort 43.1

What's next?

Right now, I'm working on my Organizational Management capstone project, which I will present, this summer, in front of a panel of experts from industry and academia. Once that's done, I plan to begin a course of study toward my Master of Information  Knowlege Management Degree. This will be a good opportunity for me to bring together my 25 years of experience as a consultant in the areas of technology, collaboration and information management, and productivity to the field of Knowledge Management.

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