The motto of the Olympic Games—Faster, Higher, Stronger—has inspired generations of athletes from around the world in their passionate pursuit of excellence. Whether it is Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian ever or Jordyn Wieber rallying from individual disappointment to help her team win gymnastics gold, the 2012 Summer Olympics have offered us examples of excellence that are not only thrilling to behold, but can serve to motivate our own lives.
Like the athletes themselves, the Olympic motto inspires with its vigor, with language that is questing rather than fixed. Indeed, it is not Fast, High, and Strong but Faster, Higher, Stronger. As we prepare for the start of another school year, let us set for ourselves a similar quest and pursue excellence in all that we do. This pursuit will not only enliven our day-to-day experience, it will help us advance Pace University and our mission of Opportunitas, which is so important in the world today.
In a few short weeks, we will welcome the Class of 2016 to Pace. During Convocation, I plan to share with our newest students a few pieces of time-tested advice, the first of which is to “seek mastery.” Mastery, I will tell them, means committing yourself to something more than just getting by. It means experiencing the excitement of developing deep understanding, doing your best, and reaping the rewards—be they intellectual, physical, spiritual, or financial. All of us who work at Pace can feel this same excitement when we commit to doing more than just getting by, when we commit to the passionate pursuit of excellence.
It is a further delight to celebrate the excellence of others. In the year ahead, let us make sure to acknowledge our colleagues when they go above and beyond and recognize one another whenever we see a job well done.
Thank you for all that you do to advance Pace as an institution of excellence. I hope you have been enjoying a happy and relaxing summer and I wish you an exciting new school year!
Stephen J. Friedman