Dr. Sapper in his full academic regalia
Right before the holidays,Tom Takahashi and myself had the privilege of attending the ceremony for Richard's receipt of an honorary doctorate from North Carolina State University. It was quite the affair with a dinner at the alumni center, robing ceremonies the next morning, photo sessions of the honorees with university dignitaries, and of course the actual commencement ceremony. In total three notables received honorary doctorates from NCSU. The recipients were; General Raymond T. Odierno, who is the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, Dr. Deanna Bowling Marcum, the associate librarian for library services with the Library of Congress, and of course my good friend and creator of the ThinkPad design, Richard Sapper. Richard may not have commanded military operations for a super power, but he can certainly "out-design" anyone I have ever met. At the recognition dinner, Richard delivered a brief set of remarks articulating how he had grown up in war-torn Germany as a teenager and the hardships that he and so many others had endured. Destruction and tragedy were everywhere, but so was opportunity. He shared his thoughts on how he personally had the courage to turn adversity into success. He talked of not being afraid to try new things and to boldly share his ideas and dreams with others. How fitting that his first solo design project, the Lorenz table clock, was built from war surplus torpeo timers. It would also land Richard his first of ten career Compasso d'oro design prizes. Few of the design elite have even one to their credit.
Perfect that the design banner was so prominantly displayed next to the platform
Congratulations to Richard on this wonderful recognition for a life's work that is truly astonishing. Thanks to NCSU, the chancellor of the university, and their esteemed board of regents, for choosing to honor Richard with this well deserved honorary doctorate. My thanks also to their design faculty leadership for inviting Tom and myself to be a part of the whole experience. It was tremendous. David Hill