As I do each April, this past week I attended the meetings of the Association of Private Enterprise Education. You can find my brief overview here, where I mention that the Association recognized me with this year’s Distinguished Scholar Award.
It’s customary for the recipient to say a few words. My “acceptance” remarks were a brief reflection on APEE’s motto, “Work Hard, Play Hard” (in that order), and afterward several people had supportive things to say and asked if I would write down my remarks. Here goes.
You sometimes hear stories about a person at an advanced age being asked, “what would you have done differently?” You know how these stories go. No one ever says they wish they’d spent more time at the office.
These are foolish stories.
Do you know when people do say they wish they’d worked harder? Athletes at the end of a season when they didn’t win the championship. Students at the end of a semester when they didn’t get their grade. Our greatest preachers on many a Monday morning. Parents after a hard day, or week, or month. And all of us [scholars in the room] after a rejection letter from a peer-reviewed journal, or after a class that wasn’t quite prepped right.
Papers don’t write themselves. Books don’t promote themselves. Conferences don’t organize themselves. And students don’t go to grad school on their own. We have to keep working hard.
I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this recognition. And I owe a great debt of gratitude to my professors, colleagues, co-authors, students, and foundations that have supported my work especially Liberty Fund, Earhart Foundation, and the Charles Koch Foundation.
Thank you very much, APEE. Work hard, play hard.
NOTE: Photo is by Phil Magness.