Catharine R. Stimpson (Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Science,
New York University)

Also see Dean Stimpson's essay on graduate education

Catharine Stimpson Even at its best, graduate school can provoke anxiety and frustration. In order to get through and beyond these feelings, a graduate student has to remember the why of being there, the why of having enrolled for an advanced degree. I went to graduate school because I needed to create a career and earn a living. However, creating a career and earning a living, although necessary, were not sufficient. I wanted work that I could take seriously, even passionately, work that mattered to me and that I thought I could do well and that embodied the values of human dignity and freedom.

Being an intellectual and an academic represented this kind of work for me, and I went to graduate school in order the get the doctorate that would enable me to do it, and I have never ever regretted having done so.

I love what I do, and feel privileged to be able to do it in a world so full of pain and cruelty and poverty and dead-end jobs. Friends also help during graduate school, even one friend who understands what its demands and routines are. It is a hard path to tread alone.