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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

About Charlie Hathorn


All right. So now, I'm Charlie Hathorn. I'm in the Beta class, which was the second class of the MSOD program. What am I doing now? I'm managing grandchildren, end of retirement, and up until just recently, I was a learning group consultant in the MSOD program. So, that brings you up to date.

Often, when there's a prospective student, they call me up, and they say, "I'm thinking about this MSOD program. What am I going to get out of it? It's a big deal, and it's a lot of money, and I want to know what the outcome is. What do you think? What was your experience?" And I say there's usually 2 things that could come out. One is, plan A, you get a degree. You get credentials. You get some connections. And you get skills, models, and so your intellectual toolkit is built.

And that's a lot, and it's good, and it will probably get you a job somewhere. And if that's what you want, that's a good plan. If, by chance, you go plan B, it's different. And that's a plan that results in some sort of transformation, and you will be somehow a different person with different capabilities when you come out of the program. So, those are the 2 things that you could expect on either end of the spectrum, and maybe you'll get a combination of both.

Charlie Hathorn, plan A, got what he wanted. He went in 1977. He got a degree. He wanted the credential. That was the main thing that was in his mind, and he got that. He got connections. He got network. And he got an OD branded job, which was what he wanted. He'd been in training up until that point. So, I got that, and I walked away. I was lucky. At the end of the last session, I rode back with Danny Potrella to the airport, and he said, "What are you interested in?" I told him. And about a year later, he had shoe horned me into an OD branded job.

So, that was great. That was plan A. Then, I had to do a plan B. So, in 2007, I was invited to think about being a learning group consultant. And that resulted in 5 different learning groups over 10 years. And that was the transformational piece. So, I got to do it twice. I got two trajectories. One was the conventional, get a job by getting a degree. And then two was the transformational piece. And the transformational piece, just to say some more about that, starts with what's known as SPINE.

And it is 5 dimensions of growth: spiritual, physical, intellectual, intuitive, and emotional. And so, that's what I decided I could grow on. And the transformation piece was I realized you can grow on any and all of those dimensions until you die. And so, that's the trajectory that I'm on right now. So, is there anything else I want to say about that? I think not. Not at this point.

Well actually, I do have something to say. And that is, this last part was less about skills and models. I don't even need, or have a place to apply those anymore in retirement. But what does come out of that transformation is greater capacity, if you choose it, on caring and humanity and love, and I do believe that I am still building on those capacities, and I can work on those until I die. So, that's about it. Yeah.

Okay. What is the one thing I'd like to be remembered for, I suppose, as a legacy? I believe I can be remembered. It's believable for me that I brought and committed my whole self to any social system I'm invited in. I'm willing to bring myself, my whole self, and be committed. And when I mean my whole self, that has some dimensions on it too. And that's the energy that you bring, the excitement you bring, the spirit you bring, the wisdom you bring, and a sense of awe that you bring when you come to a social system that you've been invited in.

And I think I can do that. And each one of those dimensions itself, whether any of the five, for me, is animated by love. So, you've got the possibility of love's energy, love's excitement, love's wisdom, love's spirit, and love's mystery. And to me, if I'm bringing that, and I'm remembered in some way for bringing that, I'll be happy.

10 years. You think I've got 10 years already. Well, maybe I do have 10 years. Who knows. I'm 82 years old. So, 92 seems a bit far off. But, what I want, what I want to contribute. I want to be available to citizens of MSOD, faculty, staff, students, alumni, whatever. I want to be available to them. I want to be available as a lens. I want to be available as an informed and caring lens that they can be with and view the meaning in their lives, or their triumphs, and deepen those senses that they have, and to bear witness to their suffering, because I believe we all carry burdens for which we need to have expression.

And I think I can be that lens, and I'll be happy if I can.