As time passes and I have discussions with my two children about their future education and careers, I am reminded how lucky I am to have found a career that I am passionate about and a way to make a living doing something that I love to do. I now understand what a blessing this is and how much I want my children to have a similar experience. How did this happen? Was it luck? Looking back, I think not. When I was young I loved working with my hands doing masonry and some carpentry work. I also loved history and that is what drew me to Blackburn College. There was a strong history program at Blackburn and the New Construction Crew was building an addition to the existing gymnasium, these two facts alone are what made Blackburn stand out above all the other schools I was looking at. There was such great community spirit as we all worked toward a common goal. At the end of each day we could look back and see the tangible results of our work—what a sense of accomplishment!
Like a good parent, Blackburn took a big risk and put a great deal of trust in us and, as a result, Blackburn enabled an environment where we were able to learn by making mistakes. I think this taught me that taking calculated risks could pay off in ways I could never imagine. More than just an education, Blackburn laid a foundation for my career, taught me how to work, dream, and understand the right balance between work and the rest of my life. I have had my own company for over 25 years where we design and build architectural conservation programs for historic buildings and monuments, and where we mix history, craft and construction every day. I have been fortunate to work on projects ranging from the United States Capitol to ancient temple complexes at Angkor in Cambodia to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York City and many, many more. Even though I might not always think about it, I use what I learned at Blackburn every day. I continue to mix my love of history, construction, a true reverence for craft and what people can build when they are taught well and set their hearts and minds to it.