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Lessons Learned, Part III

Lessons Learned, Part III

Staff writers May 30, 2019

A continuing reflection on life acquired in and out of the classroom — from the Classes of 1963, 1995 and 2018.

Peter Swet ’63, Writer, Hamden, Connecticut

Alumnus Peter SwetBest day I ever had was the day that my brain hemorrhaged. It proved to me that there is a God. Everything else is the small stuff.

I get out of bed every day saying: “Today is the day I walk like my old self, work like my old self, be my old self.”

Things are only things and bear little meaning. Although I prize my Gaylord Medal “for finding the ability in disability.” The thought of that spurs me on.

Learn to laugh at yourself. You’re the funniest person you know.

My father told me, “Be good to people and they'll be good to you.” Not true, Dad, but that's no reason to stop trying.

Kurt Vonnegut made me think while laughing at human absurdity.

I admire people who are truly kind and generous. It's not easy.

Who wants to be young again? I'd rather just lie to my mirror.

Of the many celebrities I’ve interviewed, the one who made the biggest impression on me was Billy Joel. I'd expected a moody, arrogant, self-absorbed aging rocker. What I got instead was a kind, softly spoken and deeply caring man who took care of those around him and who saw to my every need during our backstage interview. A long line of fans waited to greet him where he signed every program and posed for every picture. We seemed to enjoy each other and so he invited me to dinner the next night. When we parted I felt that I’d really like to hang with him again one day. Perhaps I will.

Call me crazy, but I write because I feel like it’s what the Holy Spirit wants me to do. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. Not everyone can do it, though. I know this from the many people I’ve tried to help.

I admire my wife, Mary Michael, for her bottomless joie de vivre and goodness. She shows me how to be a better person.

Don't ever let anything get you down.

Bill Stoll ’95, small business owner, Louisville, Kentucky

Alumnus Bill StollLove is the reason for waking up. It’s everything.

The most valuable piece of business advice I ever received came from my grandfather. He said, “Grow slow and don’t get greedy.”

I think success is to be respected by your peers.

My wife (and fellow UD Flyer Tracie Doyle Stoll ’95), our twins Emily and Conner (UD Class of 2022), and our golden retrievers, Stella and Chloe, make me very happy.

Any place that I have my family all together is home to me.

Aging doesn’t really affect me, it is part of life:

Live each day and be done with it.

I wish I was better at slowing down and not rushing to get things done.

I have always enjoyed and been proud to be in our family-owned business. Being a third generation restoration road construction business has not been an easy path, but certainly a rewarding one.

A beautiful sunny day at the beach with my family is the perfect day.

I would want my great grandchildren to know that I am a hard worker and that my family always comes first.

My words of advice to a UD first-year student: Figure out how long it takes you to walk to your first class — before it is time to go to your first class.

Be patient. Success will come … just work hard and stick with it. 

When you love someone and work together, marriage is the greatest and most rewarding thing in the world.

Katherine Liming ’18, nonprofit communication and research associate, Columbus, Ohio

Alumna Katherine LimingTake opportunity where it’s presented because it can only help you in the future.

I always feel like I know a city when I know at least one good locally owned coffee shop and one good brewery. I think I found that early on when I moved to Columbus and it made me feel connected to the community.

When you find yourself in disagreement, try to listen harder, not speak louder.

I like to map out what I am going to do when I get home from work, whether it’s cooking dinner or going to the gym or reading. I think it’s important to have something I am excited for.

My current favorite snack is goldfish — they are such a classic. I bought the big gallon tub of them.

Right now we’re hiring interns at work, and I said I want a UD student here. I don’t care if I don’t know them, I want UD people here because I know they’re going to be good, hard workers. I miss the people at UD the most.

It hurts my heart when people aren’t heard and we don’t acknowledge other people’s experiences.

I am still very excited about adulthood. Even though I’m in it, I’m excited for it. I don’t know what the next year holds, I don’t know what the next five years hold, but I am excited for it because I expect it to be good.

So many wonderful lessons from our alumni.