By Jesús Jiménez
Through the SLA-TFI partnership, Founder and CEO Michael Dell of Dell Inc. came to speak to juniors and seniors on Thursday, April 25th.
Mr. Dell was in Philadelphia to receive the Bower Award for Business Leadership. Every year, The Franklin Institute gives this award to an individual who has revolutionized their field of work and has been an active philanthropist.
In the days prior to the event, news spread around the community that a special guest would visit the school this week.
Franklin Institute Liaison Luke Van Meter was excited for Michael Dell’s arrival, although the details of his visit were kept under wraps until the day of the event.
SLA’s current seniors might remember when the co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, came on a similar visit in 2010. Gates was toured around the school and eventually spoke with students about a variety of topics at the end of the day. This time around, Mr. Dell visited an Engineering class and then addressed the upperclass half of the SLA student body in the cafe. Students asked Dell about his company and had a lot of questions regarding the evolution of his company through his career.
Dell was very elaborate with his answers, as he covered the work he did in his college dorm over 20 years ago, to the work he does in his office today.
When questions were over, Principal Chris Lehmann gifted Michael Dell an official SLA lab coat, a tradition that has been done for every guest speaker who comes to our school.
“You’re invited back anytime,” said Lehmann as he handed over the coat to Dell’s hands.
Student reactions to the visit were mixed. Senior Matt Rinaldi told SLAMedia that “It didn’t seem like he cared, I understand that he has things to do, places to be, but it seemed like he didn’t want to be here.”
Senior Annisa Ahmed had a more positive outlook. “Seeing Michael Dell … made me think that SLA is starting to become more acknowledged in the fields of STEM that the school is trying to promote to us.”