Friday, November 19, 2010

215 attend Jeffrey Zaslow’s talk at Clearwater Library

Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal columnist and co-author of SPC’s “One Book, One College” selection The Last Lecture, visited the Clearwater Campus library on Nov. 10.

The book was inspired by the final lecture given by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch on Sept. 18, 2007. He died the following year at age 47.

Kim Wolff, Program Director of the Library, and Bobbi Cullinan, Administrative Specialist II, were determined to get Zaslow to speak at the college, despite having no money in the library budget for guest speakers. Wolff tried unsuccessfully to negotiate Zaslow’s steep $20,000 speaking fee with his agent.

That is when Cullinan decided to e-mail the author directly and both were surprised when he responded. Zaslow, who already was going to be in Venice for a talk and book-signing, volunteered to speak at SPC for free.

“He said, ‘Randy would have done this,’” Cullinan said.

As a way to thank him, the college gave him a pocket watch with a quote from the book, “The inspiration and the permission to dream is huge,” and “St. Petersburg College, 2010,” inscribed on the back.


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