Paul Tudor Jones ’72 on “Perfect Failure”

Hedge fund manager, philanthropist, and conservationist Paul Tudor Jones ’72 spoke to students September 23 about the power in life’s missteps. Jones was in Memphis for the 50th reunion of the Class of 1972, and many of his classmates were in the audience.
Drawing on the failures he has encountered in life, Jones illustrated how lessons learned paved the way for subsequent success. Swinging a medieval-style sword – an attention-getting tactic he learned from a Shakespearean MUS chapel speaker back in the day – he described the power in mastering failure. 

“Make it become your tool,” he said. “You have to learn to change it from shaming to shining.”

He concluded with a dramatic oration set to the Chariots of Fire theme, “The next time the dragon of failure looms large over you. That’s when you rise up like the sun from its cradle in the morning, like the smoke that comes from the fire within. Rise up. Reach back in the firmament for that host of hundreds of people [ancestors], many of whom came here to escape tyranny, many of whom came here against their will. Bring them like a summer storm with thunder booming and lightning bolts striking from the clouds. And take that sword, and take that dragon, and smite it,” he boomed, brandishing the sword. “Then stand in VICTORY, VICTORY, VICTORY!”

The students erupted in rousing cheers as they jumped to their feet for a standing ovation. Filing out of the chapel, many of the boys stopped to shake Jones’ hand and thank him for his inspirational presentation.

See his chapel talk HERE.