TITLE: An Unexpected Opportunity
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: December 17, 2007 5:02 PM
I had to drive to Des Moines for a luncheon today. Four hours
driving, round-trip, for a 1.25-hour lunch -- the things I do
for my employer! The purpose of the trip was university outreach:
I was asked to represent the university at a lunch meeting of
Greater Des Moines Committee,
in place of our president and dean.
The luncheon was valuable for making connections to the movers
and shakers in the capital city, and for talking to business
leaders about computer science enrollments, math and science
in the K-12 schools, and IT policy for the state. The lunch
speaker, Ted Crosbie, the chief technology officer of Iowa,
gave a good talk on economic development and the future of
the state's technology efforts.
But was it all worth four hours on the road? Probably so,
but I will give a firm Yes, for an unexpected reason.
A couple of minutes after I took my seat for lunch, former
(1983-1999) sat down at our table. He struck up a nice
conversation. Then, a couple of minutes later, former Iowa
(1969-1983) joined us. Very cool. I was impressed at how
involved and informed these retired public officials remain
in the affairs of the state, especially in economic development.
The latter is, of course, something of great importance to
my department and its students, as well as the university as
Then on the drive home, I saw a
soar majestically over a small riverbed. A thing of beauty.