Distinguished Alumnus Paul Allen Urges Graduates to and Follow Dreams

PULLMAN Wash. — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen told Washington State University
graduates to value good friends and to follow their dreams into the future of technology and
business. Allen addressed the graduates after he was awarded the WSU Regent’s Distinguished
Alumnus Award at today’s graduation ceremonies.
“Remember that you all have the open mindedness, fearlessness and enthusiasm of youth.
Believe in the possibility of success,” Allen said as he spoke to an audience of some 2500
graduates, their families, faculty members and WSU Regents.
Allen recounted memories of his days as a WSU student. He recalled how he and future
partner Bill Gates worked in a WSU computer laboratory to develop software for a startup
company. He credits the vision they shared, of using microprocessors to do the work of
mainframe computers at a much lower cost, as a key to their success.
“Don’t forget to learn how best to work with people and find ways to convince them that
some of your ideas are not as harebrained as they may seem at first,” advised Allen.
Allen foresees even greater advances in technology for education in the future. “We are still
in the early stages of seeing how dramatically all these new technologies will change things. I
think that in the not-too-distant future every student will be required to carry a laptop device
with complete multimedia courseware for all classes loaded in it. It would also be connected
wirelessly to all faculty and students to allow quick access to anyone or any information
resource on campus.”
Allen urged WSU to continue building on its commitment to be at the forefront in using the
latest Internet-based learning technologies. “This will enhance and augment every student’s
educational experience and make WSU more accessible to students throughout the state and
around the world,” he said.