You might have read or heard this popular story about failure. As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from a Missouri newspaper. An editor told him he “lacked creativity.”
Illustration by Brian Stauffer
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Topics: Chancellor's message
Here’s another anecdote, which I especially like because it’s about higher education: Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California’s film school, not once, but three times — for having a less-than-stellar GPA. Today there’s a building named for him on the campus of USC, where he was awarded an honorary degree.
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr.
Experience is no shield from failure. At an Entrepreneur magazine event a few years back, Shark Tank real estate personality Barbara Corcoran quipped, “I’m so good at failure, it’s like my specialty.”
Part of the great privilege of serving our students at Texas Christian University is the chance to allow them to explore the boundaries of what’s possible, even when things don’t always go precisely as planned. As with many things in life, the teachable moments usually happen in unexpected places and as a result of some kind of setback. Sometimes it takes a while to grasp what’s expected to succeed in a classroom. Or in a new job. Or in a relationship.
Fear of failure can be a powerful motivator, but failure itself can be a marvelous teacher — especially in the right environment. Our mission to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders comes with the kind of personal attention that lends itself to encouragement and patience, usually with wonderful outcomes.
I hope you’ll be inspired by the stories shared in this issue, which are told with admirable candor and bravery. Like the story of Neeley School of Business professor Michael Sherrod, who underestimated social media’s impact on the world. Or the deeply personal accounts of resilience by Felicia Jernigan Browning ’81, Peter Duffy ’82 and Joy Kendle ’14.
Here’s to the continued success — whatever circuitous paths that might sometimes involve — of our Horned Frog Family.
Victor J. Boschini, Jr.
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Alumni, Web Extras
How did you overcome failure? Three TCU alumni provide raw and introspective looks into their journeys.
Campus News: Alma Matters
Professors quote notable people like J.K. Rowling and Jimmy Buffett to reflect on the fruits of failure.