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One proud papa: Erin earns doctorate in neuropharmacology

I’m a proud man today, a proud father.

Today, I watched my daughter Erin achieve one of her dreams by earning her doctorate in neuropharmacology from Wake Forest. I not only can barely say it, I need spell check just to spell it correctly.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I was to watch her stand up there today and do what she loves. Erin graduated in four years in a five-year program while publishing 23 papers, 15 of which were on her own. Her presentation was extremely impressive even though Ellen and I only knew a few words. She was both confident and funny.

Ellen and I have been blessed to have played a small part in changing people’s lives. I think we’ve been able to do that for a small group of people. When you’re talking research and what Erin is going to be doing, she now has the ability to change the lives and futures of millions.

Erin is the first doctor in our family. My hope is she won’t be the last.

The best compliment paid was by Nancy Alexander who worked with her in lab. She told me she was kind. That meant more to me than any degree she earned.

Do I sound like a proud father? You bet. I’m proud of all of my kids.

I’m proud of Megan, who graduated from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts with high honors earlier in the year. My baby is now a professional French pastry chef.

I love my son, who is maturing into a man more and more with each passing day. He’s a lot like his father, but don’t tell him I said that.

We do what we do every day for a lot of reasons, but moments like today are what get me out of bed. I love coaching basketball and leading young men, maybe more than just about anything else, but nothing trumps the love I have for my family.

Congrats to Erin on a special day. I’m proud of you!