Leaving Legacies and Living Legends
In college, many of us are told we can be anything we want to be. But what if we don’t know what that ‘something’ is?
For UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee William “Bill” Dinsmore ’68, the career path was paved with many questions. He originally planned to pursue medical school, but realized the vocation was just not for him.
“I went through a challenging process,” recalled Bill. “It’s so rare for campuses to give any kind of career help.”
Bill was accepted into a management achievement program at Pacific Telephone Company where (to his surprise) he loved the work. This inspired him to obtain his MBA from the University of Southern California and work his way up through consumer business management. He eventually became the CEO of The Learning Company, which became the leader in online educational software for children and adults.
In 2000, patrilineal traits started to emerge. Bill and his wife, Janet, witnessed their son Scott enroll in UC Santa Barbara and begin flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. Scott explored careers and business ideas through the Technology Management Program (TMP), which is part of the College of Engineering. The curriculum explores the intersection of technology, business and social science, and offers innovative programming to its students.
“We always knew [Scott would] do something different,” said Janet, who also attended UCSB. “He was very inquisitive and inspired by so many things.”
“Scott was eager for information,” added Bill. “He would pull out his notebook and pencil — about whatever business he was doing — and take his little notes and probe. When he saw an opportunity to better his knowledge about something, he would go for it.”
Scott launched his own global company, “Live Your Legend” (LYL), thanks to his years at UCSB. LYL helps people discover their passion and do the work they can’t not do.
“I interviewed Scott when he was just starting Live Your Legend,” recalled TMP Professor of Practice John Greathouse. “I just remember Scott’s humbleness and sincerity — and the way he delivered his message was so powerful! He had this smile that was just ridiculous. A warm smile,” Greathouse added.
John mentored Scott throughout the years, and their work produced mutual inspiration (Greathouse even incorporated LYL content into his TMP curriculum). He also added “The Alchemist” to the syllabus — a book Scott recommended.
“‘The Alchemist’ was [Scott’s] favorite book,” said Janet. “He took it everywhere. That’s where he came up with the [Live Your Legend] name.”
Scott was an avid learner, runner and adventurer whose life abruptly ended when he and his wife, Chelsea, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. The passing of Scott prompted Bill and Janet to make a legacy gift, which would memorialize his indomitable spirit.
“There’s no major in university on passion and purpose and career,” said Scott in his 2012 TEDx Talk. “It’s on us to figure that out and we need a framework; we need a way to navigate through this.”
The Dinsmores’ gift is inspired by the influence TMP had in Scott’s life. Made through their charitable remainder trust, the gift will expand TMP’s career programming and help students (from any discipline) explore careers that leverage their talent and passion.
“[Scott’s] parents saw the impact that our program has on young people,” observed Greathouse. “I like the idea that we can continue to tell this story to future UCSB students. It’s nice that we can extend Scott’s legend and his legacy going forward.”
For the Technology Management Program, the Dinsmore fund represents sustained impact. This irrevocable planned gift ensures the expansion and acceleration of the program and speaks to TMP’s — and Scott’s — enduring influence.