Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Just One Question

Q: What was your motto as a Thayer student and what is your motto today?


When I entered Dartmouth I was 17, too young and not ready for the challenges of college, so all through undergrad and Thayer my goal was “Try to catch up.'” Today, at age 83, I’ve made many wrong turns through the years, so it’s “Do it right the first time.”
—Ron Read ’57 Th’58

My motto while at Dartmouth: “Become an excellent and well-rounded engineer in the Thayer School tradition.” My motto now: “Stay fit, well-informed, and able to successfully deal with modern life while continuing to be close to family, friends, and church members.”
—Jerome Allyn ’59 Th’60

My motto was “There’s always a better way,” courtesy of Professor George Taylor. And that has stood me in good stead throughout my career. Professor Taylor taught a class that was an introduction to industrial engineering and his mantra was, “When looking at a process or tool, there’s always a better way.” It was an approach that fit the field of industrial engineering very well, of course, and that phrase was repeated to the point that we all embraced the idea. In his class we’d deal with a problem, maybe solve it, and then one of us would say the magic words and we’d look at the “solution” and try to find a better way. That attitude stuck, and some of my Tuck-Thayer friends, such as Jim Wooster ’59 Tu’60 Th’60, continue to use it in day-to-day activity, as do I. It became words to live by.
—Ray Becker ’59 Tu’60 Th’60

Motto then and now: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.”
—Neil Drobny ’62 Th’64

Then: “Let’s party.” Now: “Carpe diem.” I’ve come to realize that the days are limited and the construct of immortality sets in. I spend a lot of time on the DREAM project, which I founded in 1995 and now chair, which means I’m involved in policy and day-to-day efforts now. It’s an educational foundation in the Dominican Republic that serves 9,000 indigent students in 27 communities. See more at dominicandream.com.
—Michel Zaleski ’68 Th’69

My motto when I was studying was “Learn fast computer engineering” so I could land a job. My motto now is “Build amazing products” so I can delight customers and leave a legacy.
—Vishal Gupta Th’94

Motto then: “Engineer for good, not for evil.” Motto now: “Work hard. Play harder.”
—Kendra Tupper ’02 Th’03

For my motto at Thayer, it would have to be the classic by George R.R. Martin: “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.” I’m not sure what it is now. Maybe having no motto is a motto in and of itself?
—Jacob McEntire Th’15

My motto as an undergrad and now: “If you don’t fall, you don’t learn” (something my dad always says).
—Russell Beckerman ’19

I figured out my motto junior year—and I use it every day: “The work always gets done.”
—Matt Gardner ’19

As a MEM student: “Unless someone is dying, no need to fret. Be reasonable and things will work out.” As someone nine months out: “Unless someone is dying, no need to fret. But promotions are nice, so do make sure to hustle.”
—Wanfang Wu Th’19

My motto was and still is: “Always Day 1.”
—Junfei Yu Th’19

Categories: Alumni News, Just One Question

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