Babson Magazine

Spring 2016

Mama Said

With a nod to Mother’s Day, the Babson community recalls words of wisdom from their moms.

Illustration: Jay Wright

Illustration: Jay Wright

“Do something good for someone today, and don’t tell anyone you did it.” My mom, Sue Lima, passed in November 2015, but I still hear her many words of advice. A person of action and gratitude, she wore a warm smile and was genuine, openhearted, and generous. She made an extraordinary impact on people’s lives through ordinary acts of kindness each day without fanfare, and she fiercely encouraged me and my siblings to do the same. This advice was given to us (as we sighed) every day when we left for school. I might not have completely understood at the time what my mom was teaching us, but I’ve come to realize that this advice holds several worthwhile lessons. It’s not always about you; you don’t need to take credit for everything. Living this way is actually freeing. And live life with gratitude and kindness; it will come back to you tenfold.—Sarah Sykora, MBA’01, vice president and chief marketing officer, Babson

My eighth-grade homeroom teacher told my mother that I was not college material and advised her to select the commercial rather than college prep track for my high school classes. This was the 1960s when few minority students went to college, and no one in my family had attended, so this wasn’t surprising advice. However, my mother asked me what I wanted to do, and when I said I wanted to go to college, she supported me and never wavered. She told me that it was my choice, but also that I would have to work hard to prove that I belonged. My mom was pretty tough. She was divorced when I was 11 and raised me with very little outside financial support. Her advice about making choices taught me it was my responsibility to decide where I belonged, and that I shouldn’t let others make that decision for me.—Sharon Rowser ’74, vice president and deputy director, policy research and evaluation department, MDRC

The best advice I ever received from my mom is hard work is the solution to everything. Brenda Goscha is outgoing and charismatic, yet a general inside. Her get-it- done attitude has been an inspiration to everyone who knows her. I quickly learned what Thomas Edison meant when he said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” Working at our latest venture to bring back the warm glow of Edison’s light bulb while making it energy efficient has proven to hold the same requirement of many hours of perspiration. Without years of practice in the field of hard work (thanks to my mother), I am certain I would not be where I am today.—John Goscha ’06, founder and CEO, Finally Light Bulb

“Never roll your eyes at people.” My mom, Deborah Luippold, gave me this advice about 10 or 15 years ago, because I would occasionally roll my eyes at individuals in response to their comments. Admittedly, I can be a bit snarky at times. I’m not proud of it, and it is one of many things about myself that I actively work on. “It is so rude,” said my mom. And, the truth is, she’s absolutely right. It is unfairly dismissive of the eye-roll recipient, and, accurate or not, portrays the eye roller as pretentious. My mom then told me about a time when a judge rolled his eyes at her (she works at the local courthouse), and she called him out on it in front of a group of people. Awhile later, he apologized and admitted his mistake. In that same manner, while I feel that I have grown a lot since receiving that advice, if you ever catch me rolling my eyes, I hope you’ll call me out on it, like my mom did to the judge.—Ben Luippold ’01, associate professor of accounting, Babson