Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”

22 Sep

Randy Pausch has given his last lecture. A Disney Imagineer, the founder of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, and director of the Alice software project, Pausch will be long remembered for his significant contributions to education and technology.

Diagnosed with terminal cancer, and given a short prognosis, Pausch chose to deliver his final lecture as part of a CMU series where prominent academics were once asked to deliver the lecture they would choose if they knew it would be their last. I watched the full lecture yesterday and Pausch’s words are still echoing in my heart. This is a man who has truly lived, and brought life to the dreams of others. (You have to watch for that second head fake, it’s a doozy.)

In his personal home page, Pausch gives us words of hope from a dark place:

Somewhere during my treatment, somebody asked me if having cancer had made me believe less, or more, in God. I replied that I didn’t know, but it sure had made me believe more in people.

(Hat tip: The Disney Blog.)

6 Responses to “Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams””

  1. phyllis Pearson October 1, 2007 at 5:55 am #

    Just seen the last lecture on our tv here in NZ. What an amazing man. Randy, I felt to pray that somehow God would do a miracle in your body, and in your life. Yes, it is important to have faith in man, but that alone is not the answer. For man cannot save you!
    Once we are dead we cannot change our minds about things like faith, or anything for that matter. So I have prayed that somehow you would read this and maybe see that God has plans for you, and that they are good. The only way to know them is to know Him. Like most things that work, they have a manual, my manual is the Bible, it tells me everything I need to know about God, about His son Jesus.

    God Bless you Randy, and your family too.


  2. Marlowe October 1, 2007 at 8:12 pm #

    I just watched this amazing man give this amazing lecture. His wisdom is astounding; his insights are keen. Anyone who has been touched by this man has been truly blessed.

  3. Marlowe October 2, 2007 at 10:32 am #

    You’re right about the second head fake. I went back to check it. It’s absolutely the most important point of the underlying reason for giving the lecture.

  4. Deena Wasson March 22, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    How dare you place your judgments on a person so close to death and who has clearly accepted his plight. Not answering the question about god does not mean he does not believe in god or a god, simply that he has no need to share that part of himself with the likes of you or me.

    This is the problem with people like you. You think that your reality is the only reality.

    I hope that Dr. Pausch is able to enjoy his remaining time with his family instilling in them the values that his parents so clearly instilled in him.

  5. Tom August 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    Randy Pausch missed a golden opportunity to offer his kids something far more valuable than lessons learned, optimism, and humor:


    From quotes on the web we know that Randy believed in people, karma and paybacks among other things. While on the world stage, however, he did not mention where he would spend eternity.
    Searching his website for “jesus” results in “text not found”.

    Randy said if you wait long enough, people will surprise and impress you. He failed to mention that the opposite is guaranteed: people will disappoint you and let you down.
    By contrast, the Bible tells us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
    “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” — John 17:3

    Millions of people hail Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture as inspirational. Indeed, what Randy left us was good, but what he left out was much better.
    This is the greatest head fake of all.

  6. Jennifer August 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m not comfortable with this becoming a place for people to insult Randy Pausch’s memory, or fight about religion. I’m just grateful he shared his bittersweet journey with us.

    Because I don’t want to watch the fighting anymore, I’m disabling comments on this page.

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