Henry Winkler was the speaker at Austin College’s opening convocation Monday night. One of the perks of being married to the dean of the sciences is that Steve and I were invited to the dinner beforehand in Henry’s honor (or should I say Mr. Winkler? That seems so formal!)
We were all seated before Oscar Page (AC president) and his wife Anna Laura came in with Mr. Winkler. It was amazing – Henry came to each table and said a quick hello and shook hands with each of us! Nine table, four people per table – that’s 36 hello’s. I can speak for Steve and I and say that this was not a perfunctory hello, this was a really friendly hello! What a way to start! I do have a photo of Henry at our table but it’s not particularly flattering of any of us so I’m not going to post it :-).
The speech he gave at the convocation was truly inspiring – and funny too! Mr. Winkler is dyslexic and he talked to the audience, that was mostly made up of freshmen and seniors, about how important it is to value what you have to give. That every individual is gifted in one way or another and that we all add something to the world that no one else can. This is a message that we should all take to heart! If you ever get a chance, go hear him speak.
I should also add that he is an author with Lin Oliver, of a series of children’s books called Hank Zipzer: The Mostly True Confessions of the World’s Best Underachiever, published by the Grosset & Dunlap imprint of Penguin Putnam. They sound wonderful!