From Erik Rasmussen Erik Rasmussen Erik Rasmussen

Currently living in Mercer Island, Washington



One child, Peter, who works in strategy at Delta Airlines. He makes me proud and happy. My wife, Peter, and I took two 3-month sabbaticals during our careers, and saw much of the developing world, a passion we share. And I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree, as Peter sought out a position Delta following an MBA, and has no hesitation to go overseas, if only for a weekend. His character inspires me, and gives me hope and optimism for the years to come.

My Story

It is indeed difficult for me to comprehend I was graduated from high school 51 years ago. How quickly that half century passed. How lucky I have been.

I wish I had been more social in high school and known each of you better; a more social life came for me later at college and grad school. So many of my current friends come from those years.

I was blessed to have great leaders in Boy Scouts and Explorers (the post-Boy Scout chapter), and they inspired a lifetime of loving the outdoors. I have been fortunate, with family and friends, to hike, cycle, dive, snorkel, camp, raft, and canoe in many places in the USA and overseas. One of my favorite trips, a 6-day rafting trip on the Main Salmon River in Idaho, I have done almost 20 times, including over 40 years with fellow Yorktown classmate Chip Hudson. Each trip has been a private trip with 25 friends. So wonderful to have an outdoor adventure with friends!

I mentioned earlier the greatest blessing has been family. I had great parents, who encourage me to go to Wm. Mary & UVa Law School, have had a wonderful marriage of 36 years, and have an inspiring son. Family and friends are the oxygen of life. As the poet said

             From quite homes and first beginning
             Out to the undiscovered ends
             There's nothing worth the wear of winning
             But the laughter and the love of friends.

I have been lucky for a professional career (law and nonprofit hospital administration) that paid me well but was not work. Jacques Cousteau once said, "The only way to find happiness is through an expansion .... You must love and share and work for others. Concentrate too much on yourself, and you will be miserable." My professional life and, since retirement in 2014, volunteer activities thankfully moved me in that direction.

Time has allowed me to understand the good life, the successful life, comes more from being fulfilled rather than simply happy, and being fulfilled consists in some measure of beautiful moments, of love of family and friends, of standing up for what one believes, of seeking wisdom, of enduring disappointment, grief, and fear with dignity and courage, of trying to be the salt and light to others, of using one's skills and gifts graciously and productively, of aspiring to be our best selves in the face of a culture that so often attempts to persuade us to be selfish and self-serving, and of trying to discover and maintain a faith during a fundamentally mysterious and amazing life. I wish I had know that in high school.

It was a great pleasure and privilege to attend Yorktown with you. Those were formative years at a first-rate school, although I did not appreciate it then. I hope for each of you that your most beautiful moments are yet to come as you maneuver between circumstance and choice. All blessings to you, and may you burn brightly!