Wade College, on Friday held their commencement ceremony for the Class of 2012. WADE in all respects, is responsible for much of the young talent we see in the industry today, not just in the DFW area, but everywhere. In fact a student of Wade just received a mention in Italian Vogue, which says a lot considering the student has yet to graduate.
With a room full of extraordinary student power, Wade presented Jan Strimple with it’s Lifetime Achievement Award. It was fitting to see a room full of extraordinary students, as well as Jan Strimple who was prepared to send them off with one more lesson, A Life lesson, that will in hopes move them in Success, Community, and to live every dream they have!
John R. Conte, Vice President of Education, introduced Jan Strimple with an excerpt from ” Internal Affairs” a 2010 Dallas Morning News Article by Jason Sheeler, in which Strimple shared her distaste for an Intern who spent the majority of her time texting on a phone rather than working. The coveted position of being a “Jan-tern” was clearly wasted on this little girl, which Strimple made clear in her comments.
I might add, in spite of a miss spelling, I as well was mentioned in the article, however with a much warmer tone. It makes me think back to when I had that great experience of being a “Jan-tern” even for only one day, I couldn’t help but have the feeling of “wow I survived a Jan event”, Well considering the speech given at Wade College, it wasnt that I survived the event, It’s the fact that I Learned from it, that left me with the full feeling of accomplishment that day. To watch the teacher who was at hand mastering what she is known for was a moment that to this day, has to be among the Greatest lessons of my personal College experience, I was lucky to have landed a seat in “that classroom”.
A quote from Stimple’s speech pretty much summed up what an education in fashion or otherwise is all about, “Style we celebrate, but its Void without Substance”. As many of us former fashion students, we know how special landing a Strimple intern spot is, or evening attending a Strimple Show, such as Fashion’s Night Out’s outdoor fashion show at Highland Park Village, Strimple in many ways, is the personification that Hard Work is yet another great lesson to master, and with hard work comes the substance that contributes to our celebrated industry.
An education, and a consistent state of learning is absolutely critical to make it anywhere in life, and more so in our Industry that tends to be ever-changing at lightning speed.
In fact, I myself have been in the presence of individuals who see an education in fashion as frivolous as the industry itself, however oddly enough tend to be found in the very positions they are shunning, and shouting to everyone “im in fashion, im in fashion” or rather just celebrating style and lacking extreme substance, and more so than not all fall victim to their self-made facade that they are above anyone and everyone, which clearly the reality of having a resume as fake as their Birkins are now threatened by those who were seated with tassel adorned hats, and hearing the wise words spoken by Strimple.
Another great lesson to be learned by the students who will soon find themselves in our industry is “there is no one you are better than, and no one you are lesser than” Strimple so eloquently stresses, learn from each other, a lesson that so many forget, and Strimple put it right at the top of her agenda, which only adds to the great teacher that for so many, including myself, Jan has been.
“If you think your education stops here, you’re a fool!” Jan can’t help but put forth to the students, encouraging everyone to use their education in all aspects of their life, and by doing so they create new lessons to be learned, to add to the leadership possibilities an education offers.
Strimple also stresses the importance of Mentors, “follow those you best want to emulate”. To see firsthand why they are succeeding, these classrooms are what teach the most. This rings true for me given the very fact that my attendance to Wade’s graduation was based on my invite by a person whom I desire to emulate. To have mentors is to be part of a certain community , or may in fact open a door to one, which is equally enriched with lessons. Strimple, also explained how community grows you in virtue that we are not one, we are a part of…Giving back, is a great tool in the master class of life, and through community come great leaders. What you put out in the world will come back to you to in more ways than one. Strimple’s work with AIDS organizations as well with the City Of Dallas is living proof of this lesson, she was now leading by example to the graduates.
A commencement ceremony is special for everyone who earned it, through the hard work students day after day put themselves through in order to make their presence felt in our industry, as well as learn all aspects of the jobs at hand to ensure their future is a great achievement. And having someone like Jan Strimple send them off with words enriched with thought-provoking lessons, not only completed the ceremony it complemented it with passion and purpose. Even I left feeling enriched and motivated, I was thrilled to have been present at Wade College’s Graduation, and look forward to working with the grads of Wade College in the industry. Congratulations to the Class of 2012!