Frank Van Dam

PC Year 2
Netherlands, graduated 1977

“Teachers and staff at Pearson were very inspiring. They were our examples, they got us going, they were getting school, services, sports, activities and everything organized – they relied on us…they let us fail at times and helped pick up the pieces. Looking back, I would say we were inspired to cross borders, reach across cultures and keep a balance between yourself, the community around you, and body and mind. I have always made an effort to keep that balance with the community around me. I have been chairman or board member of countless committees, foundations etc. The college network and national committee, even international board, a student union at university, in the army a union for officers, school committees, church committees organizing special youth or vesper services, local housing board, a concert organization and now the botanic garden. The idea of service is ingrained in us very deeply. In work life I have tried to maintain that same focus on crossing borders. As I am an engineer this was first about crossing borders between disciplines. Coaching across borders has brought beautiful and successful new products as people lined up rather than hid in trenches. I tried to take cues from our teachers at Pearson; keep the overall picture, let people do their own thing, allow mistakes but work to the common goal. I never stopped learning; always took at least one challenging course a year, always had interns in my company. Without that sort of curiosity, you can’t look across the border and step out to help.”

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