Starting yesterday and wrapping up today, I am at Miami University for orientation for my eldest lad. In a little over seven weeks from now, he will be attending the Farmer School of Business where he intends to study finance and entrepreneurship, while also pursuing a Chinese Business Certificate. After four years at Miami University, he should be a well rounded student. Now I know you’ve heard the term “well-rounded” before and as I am an employer/employee, this term is thrown around quite often to describe a high quality employee. But what does “well-rounded” mean?

According to dictionary.com, the origins of well-rounded or “well rounded” can be traced as far back as 1796, but the more common definition is “having desire varied abilities or attainments, desirably varied: a well-rounded curriculum; or fully developed; well-balanced.” Yet during a presentation by Miami University geology professor Michael Brudzinski, Professor Brudzinski described to 225 of the freshman Class of 2019, that term well-rounded can even be applicable in geology? In geological terms, well rounded can describe the grains of stone found within sedimentary formations.

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In the world of business, I am quite familiar with conglomerates, which is a company or entity that has either started or acquired multiple entities. For example, in Cincinnati is the world headquarters of Procter and Gamble. With approximately 50 different brands, such as Downy and Tide, I’d definitely call Procter and Gamble a conglomerate. But in geology terms, a conglomerate is a rock that has other rocks embedded within the formation.

Within the conglomerate, there are rocks that have angular shapes, with rough edges. As Professor Brudzinski explained, this is similar to a first-year that arrives on any college campus. They’re rough around the edges, they are inexperienced, they haven’t traveled or been exposed to the elements. On the other hand, within the conglomerate formation, there also can be smooth and polished stones, that may have traveled thousands of miles down a stream or even perhaps skipped across a lake by a curious geologist.

So as I sit here finalizing orientation, I am so proud of everything that my angular, “chip-off the block” lad has accomplished to date. Yet I hope in four years, he becomes a polished, refined well-round “stone-off the block.” I know that he is in trusted hands at Miami University, that will help to shape and mold him for the remainder of his life.