In 2000 my father did a MSc in Organisational Behaviour at the Irish Management Institute (IMI). He was considered by his class to be the student that made the most significant contribution to the class as a whole. He was described as having tremendous social intelligence and helped all his fellow class members throughout the two years at the IMI. In 2002, just months before he was due to retire, he was diagnosed with an inoperable Lung Cancer. He died 13 months later.
When he died, his class-mates from the OB group wanted to commemorate him. They persuaded Project Management Group (PM), the company my father worked for, to sponsor a Memorial Medal in his name. A former work-colleague of my father’s, who was also in his OB class, was a key organiser of this and kept the proposal moving forward; although he had left PM at that stage.
Last December, 10 years on, the Medal (and €1000) was awarded to Derek Fox, who had been nominated by his class to be the person who made the most significant contribution to the 2009 class as a whole for the 2 years at the IMI. My mother was asked to make the presentation and the Professor made a speech to explain the background behind the award. When he referred to my father’s social intelligence he added, as an aside: “I don’t wish to suggest that he didn’t have academic intelligence, he had that too!”
I’m fiercely proud of my Dad for his generosity of spirit; for being generous with his time and his knowledge. Kudos to the IMI for having an award that acknowledges such generosity in a student and to PM for sponsoring the award.
Reach out and help a colleague or a fellow-knitter – it’ll do your heart good!