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Lessons Learned Part II

Lessons Learned Part II

Staff writers March 19, 2019

A continuing reflection on life acquired in and out of the classroom — from the Classes of 1979, 1966 and 2007.

Patrick Perry ’79
Leadership Adviser and Motivational Speaker
Mentor, Ohio


Patrick PerryManaging people is not the same as leading people. The irony with leading is you always put yourself last.

Without a doubt, losing my dad nearly 10 years ago was the most difficult challenge of my life. When you lose a parent — and a great friend — you have to figure out a new normal and recognize that the hole left in your heart never goes away.

The best way to give back to the community is to raise great kids. And the worst statement you can make to your kids is “grow up.”

My spouse of 30 years is a blast and provides me a belly laugh at least once a day.

“‘Thank you’ costs nothing and should be given out freely.”

Each day and every day, make a positive difference at home, in the community and at work. If you do, you will change the world.

One day will be your last day at work. Treat today like that day.

There are no history books written about people doing average things — so be extraordinary.
As told to Anna Lagattuta ’19

Gabriel Carifi ’66
Retired accountant
Boonton, New Jersey

Gabriel CarifiNothing gives more joy than the innocence of a child. I saw it in my children and now my grandchildren. If you want a reaction from the heart, ask children what they think, then be prepared for the unexpected.
There are opportunities for kindness available every day. It can be helping to feed a hungry family or just being considerate toward others.
A priest once told me that life is a journey with a destination and you should make that journey guided by your Christian faith. Faith is important. It has helped me through both the good and difficult times and it is the basis in which I tried to guide myself through life.
You can love your friends, your job and your sports team. However, some love goes deeper. Loving your faith and your family goes deeper. A bond is created inside you, and it is a lasting love.
If I could go back and give a younger me advice it would be that everything eventually works out no matter how difficult the situation. Just do your best and be ready to make changes.

“Be honest. In the long run it makes life easier and others will respect you for it.”

When you have a decision to make that has positives and negatives, spend more time analyzing the negatives. You will be able to live with the positives but decide if you can accept the negatives. 
My time at UD means a lot to me. It gave me the education that prepared me for life and a career I enjoyed. It made me more confident in myself. Also, I have friends today that I met over 50 years ago at UD. 
As told to Jeaneen Parsons

Bridget McIlwee ’07
Dermatologist, Dermatopathologist and Mohs Surgeon
Columbus, Ohio

 Bridget McIlwee
My work as a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon is my career, but helping people via medicine and surgery is my vocation.
My father once said, “Bloom where you’re planted and work hard. The rest will follow.” Those words have guided me throughout my education and career.
My most prized possession is my rescue cat, Lux. He has been my companion for over a decade. He’s the best, even if he does usually pick my husband’s lap over mine.

“Although many things in my life have gone differently than I’d planned, when I look back I can see purpose in every step of my journey.”

My daily interactions with patients who are truly grateful for my care are what keep me going.

Be fearlessly true to yourself in pursuing your goals. Worrying about others’ impressions of you is a waste of time and energy that you should channel into the pursuit of your purpose. Only you know what drives you. As long as you continue to do what is right and work toward your “true north,” you will find not only success but also fulfillment.
As told to Danielle Damon ’18