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The YMCA locker room chatter this morning, June 9th, was all about CBC's Peter Mansbridge speaking to the Western Grad's convocation.

Some of the Western profs were some miffed at his lack of a proper educational curriculum vitae. Imagine the irony they moaned that Peter had never ever graduated from an Ivy league university. Perhaps he only knows how to read his prompter with his deep voice they wagered.

I came home and Google Peter and found that indeed they were right. My gosh, he dropped out of high school with out receiving his diploma. Peter volunteered his time to serve two years in the Royal Canadian Navy. He didn't want to sit in in a stuffy classroom having to listen to a boring geography teacher read from the textbook about the wonders of traveling to a far off distant land. Hell, he joined up for some fun/adventure to see the world at the Canadian tax payers expense.

Check it out the 'drop out' ain't done so bad. He has anchored "The National" which is Canada's top nightly news show since 1975. Peter has won the Gemini Award for Best News Anchor ten times.

The profs told me that Peter is an anomaly: that is he doesn't fit the norm for being successful.

William Gates 111 founder of Microsoft dropped out of Harvard University. He is the second richest man in the world worth $60 billion. Paul Allen, $30 billion ,dropped out with his buddy Bill to build Microsoft.

Michael Dell dropped out of University of Texas at age nineteen The day his fellow students graduated from university Dell Computer sales topped $70 billion dollars.
Frank Stronach, President of Magna International, came to Canada with forty dollars in his pocket along with a Tool & Die trade certificate and a desire to work. His salary/stock options are in the $40-$50 million dollar range.

I have to admit that I failed grade one and didn't quite graduate from high school. I have a university degree but the skills I have I have acquired came from on the job experience with my father as my mentor. I worked for the Thames Valley School Board counseling thousands of students but sadly very little of the university curriculum helped me in helping to try and understand/resolve teenager problems.

My counsel to parents and students is quite simple. A post secondary school education is fine but if you have the talent/work ethic of a Peter Mansbridge you do not have to spend years/money pursuing a Masters/Ph.D.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com