difference between "charity" and "legacy." Charity is an act of the heart, a gift provided with no expectation of return. It is usually a gift destined to fulfill a short-term need, such as to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless. Without a doubt, there is always a great need for charity in this world. It is a reflection of love and compassion.

Occasionally, charity is needed even here at Rose-Hulman. A family emergency or a health crisis occurs and suddenly a student can no longer afford tuition. At times like this, alumni and trustees step up to help students continue achieving their goals. These are wonderful and admired acts of the heart-acts of charity.


Mexican billionaire. Dean's company, DEKA, has developed a new, low cost and highly effective water filtration device to provide a clean water source to remote villages. Kamen hopes to use Mexico as a test country. This invention could eventually change the fate of millions of people around the world and become an important legacy for Kamen and his donor.

One Person Can Create Quite a Legacy

Kamen told the Class of 2012, "Today's world is on life support." Our graduates will be among the generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who make this "life


Hatfield Hall, White Chapel and Flame of Millennium have become popular campus and community landmarks thanks to alumni donations.

A Legacy Can Stand the Test of Time

On the other hand, developing a legacy is an act of the intellect. It is part of a larger plan or strategy for making a lasting improvement in the world. Legacy is about what you will build to stand the test of time, often existing-or even growing- beyond our lifetimes.

One can feel the deepest admiration for Mother Theresa's charity. She helped feed millions of hungry people in India. However, John Deere's enduring legacy is responsible for feeding billions more. By reshaping a piece of discarded steel into the first self-polishing plow blade, he helped transform the Midwest into the bread basket of the world. The Population Bomb, a best-selling book written by Paul Ehrlich in 1968, predicted mass starvation across the world by the 1980s. It didn't happen. Charity could not have prevented it. But scientists and engineers left a legacy by revolutionizing the way the world grows food.

Although inventor extraordinaire Dean Kamen did not use the word "legacy" in this year's commencement address, his topic could not have been more appropriate. Moments before giving his speech, Kamen confirmed a long-awaited meeting with a

  support" renewable, scalable, and sustainable. They will help solve problems in the fields of energy, healthcare, transportation, housing, and many more.

Dean Kamen continues to prove that one innovator can change the world. At the same time, one individual can create quite a legacy.

Rose-Hulman is not looking for your charity, but we are asking for you to be a part of our legacy.

The "Great" Debate accomplished a great deal. However, this process was just the beginning. There is much more to do. We are beginning to draft the next chapter in our legacy. We're setting a lofty target: becoming a recognized global leader in science, engineering, and mathematics education. I am confident that we can hit this target, but only with your best ideas and contributions.

If the world is on life support, as Dean Kamen attests, I believe our own Fightin' Engineers-past, current, and future- will provide the solutions necessary to meet our technological challenges and make this world sustainable.

Innovation changes the world, and our campus is where innovation lives. Create your own legacy by being a part of ours.