Earlier today during Special Programming Day, seniors had the incredible opportunity to hear from Drew McKnight, Co-Chief Investment Officer at Fortress Investment and current ESD parent, as part of the annual Robert H. Dedman Endowed Lecture Series for Leadership.
McKnight, who was introduced by Senior Class President Jonathan Scurtis '22, spoke to students about the key roles that both reading and relationships play in becoming a leader. He encouraged seniors to seek out mentors, people who guide and inspire them along their life's path, both during and post-college. “One of the best investments you can make is in your relationships,” he said. McKnight’s own personal mentors have guided him to love to read, to a national championship in lacrosse, to multiple jobs, and even to Dallas.
As a two-time All-American and member of the 1999 University of Virginia Men’s Lacrosse Championship team, McKnight also emphasized that his background in athletics contributed significantly to his professional journey. “It’s easy to be in first place, but it’s a lot harder to be successful when you’re coming from behind,” he said. “One of the biggest things I learned through sports was how to get up off the mat.” This philosophy has served him well, especially working in the finance sector where markets continually ebb and flow.
Inspired by Harry S. Truman’s quote, “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers,” McKnight ended his visit by gifting each member of the senior class a copy of “The Obstacle Is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. He encouraged students to read it and email him their thoughts so he could give them more book recommendations. He also shared his current reading list with students, which you can view here.
Started in 2002, the Robert H. Dedman Endowed Lecture Series provides students opportunities to learn lessons in leadership from outstanding achievers across many industries. Guests have included captains of many industries, heroes, and champions of philanthropy and service. For more information, please contact Carol Bergman (email@example.com).