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January 13, 2012

Ross Mason '87 to Deliver Schacht Lecture

It is so rewarding for me to have the opportunity to observe young people grow and develop. Every student is different, and no two paths are the same, and I enjoy watching each of them pursue opportunities, meet challenges, and respond to adversity. Ross Mason, member of the Class of 1987 and this year's Schacht lecturer, is one who has seized opportunities and risen to the challenges he has faced. A born leader, Ross was student body president at both Athens Academy and Georgia Tech. He went on to get his MBA from The Wharton School and studied Russian at Middlebury College, using those skills to start a real estate development firm in Moscow following the fall of the Soviet Union. Ross has worked in finance, venture capitalism, information technology, and healthcare, and his work has taken him all over the world.

While training for a triathlon, Ross was in a bicycle accident that left him paralyzed from the collarbones down. Rather than slowing down as a result of a tragedy, Ross faced his new challenges with the same commitment and leadership he has shown all his life, focusing his talents and connections in the world of healthcare and finance to found HINRI (Healthcare Institute for Neuro-Recovery & Innovation) and HealthTrain Ventures. Ross works tirelessly to explore therapies, treatments, and scientific breakthroughs that will improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injury, brain trauma, and neurological diseases.

We are excited to welcome Ross back to campus and to hear about his past and future projects and efforts. It has been a pleasure for me to observe him push boundaries and follow through, during and since his days as a student at Athens Academy. The world is a better place for his contributions, and we all stand to be inspired by his courage and determination.