Daddy’s Little Girl

(Update at the bottom of the page)

His children are amazing.

Every parent surely feels the same way which is why he doesn’t usually tout his kids achievements in a public forum such as this. Frankly, he knows it would take too much time (because they are that awesome) and that it would quickly get boring for anyone other than family and close friends. That being said, he hopes you’ll forgive him now as he throws all that out the window and uses this space to crow about his daughter Natalie.

Young Natalie is just few weeks away from graduating with a Master in Accountancy from the Daniels College of Business at The University of Denver. The kid amazes her father nearly every day and has done so for years. She is an overachiever of the highest order. She has been a Dean’s List student throughout her collegiate career and did so through sheer determination and an unrelenting work ethic. She never quits. She’s fluent in French and has spent semesters abroad studying in Costa Rica and France. She’s traveled across Europe and China and is cultivating a global perspective unusual for Americans of her age…or of any age. She was a Provost Scholar, Cherrington Global Scholar, Zimmer Family Foundation Scholar and a Lewis Endowed Scholar, which is the highest scholarship awarded to DU accounting students. She is a member of Alpha Phi Sorority where she served as Finance Director and where she continues to serve now in a post-graduate capacity as Chapter Finance Advisor. His daughter is also President of the DU Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a professional organization which recognizes scholastic excellence in Accounting and Finance. BAP programs serve the community, facilitate social interaction among professionals, and prepare students to embark upon a career in their chosen fields. She somehow managed to accomplish all this while working part-time jobs on-campus each semester she was enrolled at DU. She also worked as a Teacher’s Aide at The School of Accountancy and served as a volunteer at her old high school with The Future Business Leaders of America. She was one of 25 select students accepted into DU’s Dual Undergraduate and Graduate degree program, which means she did all this… in five years. She excelled in the process.

At a banquet a few nights ago, his little girl was presented with an award from The Federation of Schools of Accountancy in recognition of superior academic achievement, leadership and professionalism in post-baccalaurette accounting education. She was also named the School of Accountancy Student of The Year. The first award was presented by the faculty, the second by her peers. She cried when she was presented with the second award. She cried again as she tried to tell her dad about it in a phone call. He loves that she cried. He didn’t tell her, but he cried too.

His daughter already has a job at KPMG and will begin work there in the fall. Far from what most might think in reading this, the girl is in no way bookish or nerdy but rather quite outgoing and popular. The oft over-used term social butterfly falls far short in describing her. As much as he is impressed by all the accolades, her father will tell you he’s prouder still of the lovely young woman his daughter has become. She is kind, loving, industrious and able to react quickly under pressure. She learns from her mistakes and gives all of herself to everyone and everything, asking little in return.

She calls her father regularly and each time she does, manages to brighten the old man’s day because it is always the best part of his day.

As she was passing the baton of her Presidency at that banquet in Denver, Natalie was asked to offer a few words to those assembled. Here is a brief excerpt…

“I have a poster hanging on my door with a picture of JFK and one of his famous quotes. It reads, “One person can make difference, and every person should try.” 

Since first discovering this quote several years ago I have tried to remember it in everything I do. Making a difference usually does not appear in grand gestures or through the acknowledgement of a population. Each of us has the power to make a difference in someone’s life, in our communities and in our school. I have been fortunate enough to get to know most of you in the past year. I know that our chapter is composed of strong and talented students. I have faith in the amazing promise you show and the professionals that you will become. So, this is my challenge to each of you. Remember that you can make a difference. And remember that you should try.” 

The Little Bear is all grown up now… but she will always be daddy’s little girl.

So that wan’t too much was it? There is a measure of regret as I post this in knowing I had little to do with shaping the young woman you see above. That credit goes to her equally amazing mother Diana and of course to Natalie herself. Acknowledging that makes me no less proud of her.

Try to make a difference today.


UPDATE:  The girl keeps on amazing her father. She received The Daniels’ College of Business Award for Excellence, given to the business school’s outstanding  student of the year year. It’s the highest annual award given out by the school.

4 Responses to “Daddy’s Little Girl”

  1. Nancie says:

    Absolutely lovely, Michael. Congratulations to Natalie!

  2. jesse says:

    Must be great to watch your kids grow up…

  3. Dana says:

    Mike that is a wonderful accomplishment. She is a beautiful, smart girl and you had a lot to do with the person she is today. She is half you and genetics plays a BIG part in who we become in life. So don’t slight yourself. Congratulations!

Leave a Reply