I came out of Auburn with what I consider to be a superb education. I was prepared to do anything; invincible almost. But, college was extremely hard. I was dirt poor. I waited tables, I made sandwiches, I co-oped and scratched to stay in school and support myself. The curriculum was brutal. Other kids were having a great time and my mother said to me, “These are the best years of your life.” To which I responded, “Oh, no!” But, it paid off. I was the only Auburn student to get a job with GE, and my career with them was first-rate. As soon as I started my first company, I initiated a scholarship program and also began giving back to organizations that helped me become who I am. I bet a lot of people don’t finish school because they just run out of money and energy. The students I support don’t have to do that; they have a full ride.
My wife, Eleanor, and I currently provide scholarships for 15 students, and I take great pride in meeting each and every one of them. We get letters from them, their parents, and their grandparents about how we have impacted their families for generations. The impact we have on young people’s lives has been very satisfying for us. Quite a few of the students are the first in their family to go to college. We’re providing for people who would not have been able to get a degree otherwise. It’s like raising your children. I take pride in mine and what I’ve provided for them, and I take pride in those students. I hope they impact the world.