High Alpha Partners Deliver Commencement Addresses at Their Alma Maters on the Same Day

High Alpha Partners Scott Dorsey and Kristian Andersen addressed the graduating classes at their alma maters, Indiana University Bloomington and Anderson University, this past weekend.

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High Alpha

Over the weekend, High Alpha partners Scott Dorsey and Kristian Andersen, delivered commencement speeches at their alma maters, Indiana University Bloomington and Anderson University, respectively. Despite addressing different graduating classes, their speeches shared common themes, reflecting on their entrepreneurial journeys and imparting valuable life lessons gleaned from their years of experience in the tech industry.

Scott Dorsey's Address: Dreaming Big and Creating the Future

Scott Dorsey, class of ‘89, delivering his commencement address to the graduating class at Indiana University Bloomington.

Scott Dorsey took the stage at Indiana University's Memorial Stadium with a message of hope and possibility. Drawing from his own experiences as a tech entrepreneur, Dorsey encouraged the graduating class (which included his daughter) to dream big, take risks, and create the future they envision.

Dorsey's speech was a testament to the transformative power of entrepreneurship. He shared anecdotes from his own journey building ExactTarget (later acquired by Salesforce), spanning from his days as a student at IU to his latest venture founding High Alpha, highlighting the resilience and innovation that define the Hoosier spirit. It was certainly a day to remember (recap videos on X and TikTok).

Kristian Andersen's Address: Discovering Your Purpose and Practicing Courage

Kristian Andersen, class of ‘96, delivering his commencement address to the graduating class at Anderson University.

Meanwhile, at Anderson University, Kristian Andersen urged graduates to discover their purpose, confront suffering, cultivate courage, and most importantly, “say yes to adventure."

In his address, Andersen emphasized the importance of discovering one's purpose, warning against the notion of blindly following one's passion. Instead, he encouraged graduates to embrace their suffering, viewing it as a pathway to growth and fulfillment. With references to literary giants like Wendell Berry and philosophical musings on courage, Andersen painted a picture of a life lived with intention and audacity.

The Power of Saying “Yes”

Dorsey and Andersen concluded their addresses on a similar note. Dorsey spoke about how entrepreneurs inherently lead with "Yes," and Andersen echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that “Yes” is playing offense; “No” is playing defense. It takes practice and courage to become a “Default Yes” person. When we say “Yes,” we engage with uncertainty, opening ourselves to boundless potential and possibility.

Andersen's closing words resonated beyond the stadium walls, reflecting on his personal experiences of the power of saying "yes" to the unknown. He shared, “Nearly every good thing that has happened to me in life has been, in part, a result of me saying yes – to answering a call, even when I didn’t know where it would lead.”

Congratulations to the class of 2024! Your journey is just beginning.

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