Ron Goch
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Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture”

February 18th 2008

How many people do you know that have received a standing ovation before they delivered their speech?

We’ve all witnessed speakers receive standing ovations following their speech, but Dr. Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, received a standing ovation from over 400 students just before he delivered his last “Last Lecture.”

The “Last Lecture” is conducted at selected college campuses where top professors are asked to share their wisdom with the students as their last chance to impact the students in a significant way.

Dr. Pausch, a 46-year-old father of three, is not your typical professor and he didn’t deliver the typical “Last Lecture.”

Dr. Pausch has pancreatic cancer and is expected to live only a few months.  His “Last Lecture” was a tribute to his parents, friends and was much more about living than dying.

Dr. Pausch said his “Last Lecture” was recorded so his children (ages 5, 2 and 1) can watch it when they’re older.  At the end of his lecture, he had a cake brought out to his wife, whose birthday was the day before.  The two embraced and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday.”
Dr. Pausch’s “Last Lecture” earned him another standing ovation and when you see it, you will understand why Dr. Pausch’s students gave him a standing ovation before and after his “Last Lecture.”
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