Throughout the course of the year, teachers across disciplines welcome experts in their respective fields to the classroom to provide unique insights to our students. Some of these visits have been highlighted in previous blog posts like this
When Proctor graduate Stephen Rushmore
('92) contacted me about visiting my Economics class this spring, I jumped on the opportunity to have him work with my students to discuss business plans, start-up companies, and the real challenges facing businesses in the 21st century.
Rushmore spent four years at Proctor before graduating in 1992 and continuing his studies at Cornell University. He describes himself as a serial entrepreneur (beginning a bagel business while at Proctor which he described to the class in the picture below). Not long after he began his professional career, he launched his first start-up company, www.roadfood.com
, inspired largely by his experiences on Proctor's Mountain Classroom
as a student. Roadfood.com quickly was recognized by Yahoo! as its website of the year and a full-time hobby was launched.
Students were eager to learn about Rushmore's time at Proctor, how the school prepared him for the 'real' world and his vast business experiences. Students clearly came to understand the reality that the entrepreneurial world requires hard work, as this
article discusses, but can also be an incredibly exciting career path for those with the right ideas and drive to bring an idea to fruition.
Alumni returning to help teach current students (as nine of our current teaching faculty have done) provide a unique perspective, as students understand that those standing before them were at one time in their position.
With Rushmore's help, Economics students have been charged with developing their own business plans as final projects, much like this Project Period
sought to do, and as students move into brainstorming business concepts, evaluating addressable markets and formulating effective presentations, they will undoubtedly keep in mind the following words of wisdom from Rushmore, "Identify, write down and review your goals often. It will change your life!"
Thank you, Stephen, for taking the time to help this generation of Proctor students understand the impact a Proctor education can have on an individual's future learning!