Serra alum tells students that giving back is the key to success
When Mike Linn attended Serra Catholic High School in the late 1960s, the atmosphere was different than today.
The all-male student body wore jackets and ties to classes taught by Franciscan clergy with strict classroom guidelines. And while today's co-ed environment allows students to abide by a more casual dress code in classes taught by laypersons, one thing remains unchanged — a commitment to Catholic values.
“During the course of my career, it's the few years that I spent at Serra where I learned a lot about how to make decisions and what was right and wrong,” Linn told students and teachers during a Friday assembly.
Linn, a 1970 Serra grad, said the message didn't quite resonate in his youth, but it resurfaced as he built a career in big business.
Linn is the president of MCL Ventures and the former chairman, CEO and president of Linn Energy, which he founded after a more than 20-year career in the natural gas and oil industry. Leading a team of dedicated employees, he grew Linn Energy from a small private company to a publicly traded company with an enterprise value of more than $20 billion.
While many people are in big business to make money, Linn said there's more to life than that. He said he wanted to build a company where people would enjoy their work, take pride in it and give back to the community that supports it.
“Giving back is part of what Serra taught me,” Linn said. “That's the Christian spirit — giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate.”
While growing with the natural gas and oil industry, Linn has adopted a wide network of charitable organizations that improve the quality of lives in many communities. He said no matter who you are or what you have, you should treat everyone the same and give them the same chances.
“I believe that everyone, especially children, should have the opportunity to live healthy lives and expand their horizons through the arts and education,” he said.
Because he lost his son to a congenital heart defect, he understands the priceless value of medical research. He established the Texas Children's Hospital Matthew Linn Endowed Fund in Congenital Heart Surgery and the Matthew Linn Fund for Congenital Heart Surgery Education and Training.
Linn last spoke to Serra students during the 2011 commencement and was named a distinguished alum that year. The generosity of Linn and his wife, Carol Linn, enabled the renovation of Serra locker rooms. He also is a chair of Serra's Campaign for the Future and a lead donor.
Linn and his wife will serve as honorary chairs of Serra's 21st annual Juniper Journey Auction, set for Saturday at Edgewood Country Club.
Serra president Diane DiNardi said it's encouraging to know that Linn's time at Serra played a part in his success.
“I hope you were inspired by what you heard today,” DiNardi told students. “Even after such success, Mike and Carol Linn are people just like us.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Troupe transfers beloved ‘Charlie Brown’ TV special to stage
- Liberty’s sewage system could go on the selling block
- Extra expenses encountered for redevelopment project in Duquesne