Shared Values and Friendship–A Salute to Stanford University Former Provost William F. Miller
An Essay by Jason Ma prior to forming ThreeEQ, November 2010
Stanford University Provost Dr. John Etchemendy and Associate Dean of Research Emerita Pat Devaney were the gracious hosts of a private, surprise birthday party for Former Provost Dr. William F. Miller in November 2010. A mentor to Jason Ma, Dr. Miller is also Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Professor of Computer Science Emeritus; and Faculty Co-Director, Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE), at Stanford University. As suggested by Ms. Devaney, Mr. Ma presented an essay as the birthday gift to Professor Miller, affectionately known as Bill to his friends.
Students and parents: may this brief essay help inspire you!
“We 40-50 year olds are kids by your side, and I want to grow up to be just like you,” I say to Bill, as we enjoy a Starbucks breakfast outdoors before my company’s education seminar in which Bill is to be a guest speaker in sunny SoCal. Bill advises, “Continuous learning is essential—no matter at what age.” That is part of the philosophy and value system that my long-time friend and mentor Bill and I deeply share.
More precisely, I feel that my value and belief system has been touched and deepened by knowing and learning from Bill. Bill values integrity and a passion for excellence—humbly, these are core values of mine. Bill’s values here have been acknowledged by the numerous lifetime-achievement honors he has received, including one from a former South Korean President, one from the California-Asia Business Council, and others from governments, non-governmental organizations, and corporations worldwide.
In addition to being a legendary global businessman and academic, Bill is also adventurous and fun-loving, which I feel is a vital ingredient of life. Given Bill’s youthful love and enthusiasm for people worldwide, the wild in Africa, sports photography, and more, I can see and sense that friends around the world love him back dearly.
I am also most grateful and honored that Bill has been a senior advisor and investor for my company. Whenever available, Bill always tirelessly provides inspirational and insightful speeches in front of our community. When requested, Bill thoughtfully provides words of wisdom on how to build value and manage risks. Without his support and guidance, we would not have become the education technology and in-center service market category leader it has become today.
Bill, happy birthday!