I had the honor of meeting (and in some cases, reconnecting) with a great group of people at Bradenton’s Station 2 Innovation. Spark Growth put on one of their many Tech Talks, inviting subject matter experts to share what new and useful in their fields of passion. Mine, of course, is Cortana. 😉
I earned my MBA from the illustrious School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University in May 2000. To a large degree, that would not have been possible without Dr. Clyde Ashley. No, he didn’t do me any “favors” (that I’m aware of)… but his constant presence, support and guidance were instrumental in my matriculation there. He was so down to earth that he tried to discourage me from calling him “Dr. Ashley” after about 2010; it didn’t work.
How does one describe Dr. Ashley? I can think of quite a few phrases:
A consumate gentleman
Always demanding excellence
Defender of those under his wings
Encourager of all
Exacting of effort
Exhalter of anyone due credit
Poetic to a fault
Stalwart, without peer
… but none of these do the man justice. Words fail to describe the heart that was his and how he looked after anyone he felt worthy of personal patronage — which was doggone near everyone. I can’t tell you how many times he encouraged me. His method wasn’t empty words though; rather, he challenged you, and challenged you, and challenged you… until you had no choice but to respond. Even still, his method is best described by the following:
“My way is all love and confidence, and I cannot understand those souls who are afraid of so loving a Friend.” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Doc, thank you for pouring everything that was you into so many of us. You made an impact on my life that can never be forgotten or erased. You will be missed. Rest well.