On Monday, November 28th, 2016, Pine Manor College hosted the inaugural speaker of the Inspire Program, Governor Deval Patrick.
President O'Reilly opened the event and introduced the honorable speaker: "Tonight's speaker hails from the hardscrabble of South Chicago and the hallowed halls of Beacon Hill. He is the first person of color to have become a Governor of Massachusetts, one of the most influential states in the union. Raised by a single mother in a family of limited resources, and confronted by the realities of racism, he set about life with a vision that he would not be held back."
The College's historic Founders' Room was overflowing, as Gov. Patrick shared his personal story, anecdotes, and wisdom from his remarkable life experiences. In particular, he was kind to offer the students three core ideas: the first is personal integrity which centers around the importance of being true to yourself, discovering who you are, and always remaining authentic in your voice and your values.
In the second idea - taking calculated risks - Governor Patrick described how a journey to Darfur as a Rockefeller Scholar straight out of college, led him to places and situations beyond his comfort zone, without language skills or much support. The opportunity thus allowed him to develop resilience and endurance that he relies on to this day. He affirmed that students, much like himself, can "figure things out" and succeed, sometimes just by "putting one foot in front of the other."
The third idea is the value of kindness. The Governor recalled an example from his youth of an unexpected support from a stranger that was so meaningful to him. Gov. Patrick encouraged students to act with kindness in building their relationships both near and far and attested to the power of kindness in creating alliances and good will in unexpected places.
Our entire community is grateful to Governor Patrick for spending an evening of inspiration with Pine Manor's students.