LEE, Leonard

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Madame le Chancelier,

C’est un honneur pour moi de recevoir un doctorat honorifique de l’Université d’Ottawa. C’est comme gagner à la loterie sans avoir acheté de billet!

Je suis un peu gêné de me trouver devant vous, les diplômés légitimes, parce que je n’ai pas eu à ouvrir un seul livre pour recevoir mon doctorat, alors que vous avez travaillé quatre ans ou plus pour votre diplôme. Par contre, votre avenir vous attend, alors que le mien est derrière moi. Je suppose que nous sommes quittes!

Now on to something a bit more serious.

Your skills are needed in Canada. Our infrastructure is in terrible shape and the civils, electricals, mechanicals and others among you can contribute to its improvement if the federal budget allows. Others of you will be aiming at high tech or other fields where Canada has some good industrial strengths. In preparation for your future, I want to give all of you some advice about your aim in life.

First of all, I want you to be risk takers and have the courage to work on the cutting edge of engineering, where you can be creative. This is where the fun is.

Secondly, you should choose jobs based on your interests and passions, not on salary. You will flourish doing work you enjoy. You will be happier and you will go to work with a smile every day because you like what you do. You will also be more creative. If you choose high salary over job interest you will regret it. You cannot perform well doing work you dislike and you will not be keen on going to work every day.

If at all possible, get a reading on the culture of the organization you intend to work in before you accept an offer. You want to be in a harmonious workplace where you are treated fairly, where you can be creative and where you will be given authority sufficient to match your responsibility. You also want to be in an organization with good ethics. You should never have to lie in any work you do; it corrodes your soul.

If you follow your passions and your standards, you will have a happy, productive life: you will be a good partner, friend and parent when the time comes—all of that, even if you can never afford to drive a Jaguar.

My best wishes to all of you for your future successes and happiness. You are already prepared for it because you have a sound educational foundation; the rest is up to you.

Thank you.

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