Posted by: Geoff Jackson | March 1, 2008

Randy Pausch “Last Lecture.”

Randy Pausch is a married father of three, a very popular professor at Carnegie Mellon University—and he is dying. He is suffering from pancreatic cancer, which he says has returned after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Doctors say he has only a few months to live.

In September 2007, Randy gave a final lecture to his students at Carnegie Mellon that has since been downloaded more than a million times on the Internet. “There’s an academic tradition called the ‘Last Lecture.’ Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and you had one last lecture, what would you say to your students?” Randy says. “Well, for me, there’s an elephant in the room. And the elephant in the room, for me, it wasn’t hypothetical.”

Despite the lecture’s wide popularity, Randy says he really only intended his words for his three small children. “I think it’s great that so many people have benefited from this lecture, but the truth of the matter is that I didn’t really even give it to the 400 people at Carnegie Mellon who came. I only wrote this lecture for three people, and when they’re older, they’ll watch it,” he says.



  1. I watched Professor Randy Pausch give his last lecture on the Oprah Show!

    All I can say is “WOW”. This really touched me.

    My Mom was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs’ Disease) in January 2006. She passed away in November 2007.

    The disease progressed so rapidly; taking away her ability to walk first. Then everything went very quickly.

    Her last wish was to go to Tennessee to visit with her Beloved Cousin. However, immediately prior to being diagnosed, Mom had lung surgery. Recuperating from that, along with the fast progression of the ALS, kept her from being able to make the trip.

    Therefore, I feel it is most important that, if you do learn you have something such as cancer, ALS, etc, that is cutting your life very short and you only have months to live, get out there and live. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself; which is so easy to do.

    There are things you want to do, I know there are. So do them.

    My heart goes out to Randy and his family. Many blessings to them; may God grant them the Peace and Understanding that only HE can provide.


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