Upon receiving an honorary doctorate of science at Swarthmore's 1994 commencement ceremonies in 1994, John Mather '68 made the following (excerpted) remarks to the graduates.
Swarthmore was the first place I could really become a professional scientist and like it. I also found that the world was set up to reward people who were good at this. I could go ahead and follow my heart.
When I gathered the team to propose the COBE satellite, I had no idea how to make it happen. What we all did together was to solve the problems as they came along. I found out I had to learn about many things I never expected, everything from balancing budgets to running meetings to learning how to type and writing memos all day long. I found out I didn't know how to be the kind of leader that I wanted to be, and I had to ask for help about that, too.
Competition gets our adrenalin flowing, but our competitors are not really our friends and neighbors. Our competitors are the cockroaches who will inherit the earth all too soon if we don't pay attention to what we're doing and help each other along.