President of the ETSU Research Foundation Bill Duncan gave a motivational speech to the ETSU entrepreneurs club on Tuesday evening in Sam Wilson Hall.

(Photograph by Elizabeth Mathis / East Tennessean)

The club met in a classroom and listened attentively as Duncan gave a speech on the journey of his career. While Duncan was talking of his achievements, he didn’t stray from the overall message he wanted the group to understand: “Don’t let anything get in the way of what you want to do.”

Duncan got his start at the University of Texas Southwest Medical School studying pharmacy and later became interested in genetics. He did some clinical research and went into research administration. During his time in the lab, he helped conduct a study that helped reduce the number of AIDS cases in newborns.

Now Duncan serves as administrator to the ETSU Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes partnership between ETSU and other companies and organizations. One thing to come out of the partnerships that the foundation promotes is an opioid treatment center. The treatment center was established with the support for research and prevention of addiction.

Medical Research is not the only thing Duncan has done recently. He has also taken up wine making and has started a small independent record label with his wife called Soona Song.

“I thought the presentation was very inspiring,” said club member Austin Ramsey. “It was neat hearing about how his career path changed. One of the most interesting points that I took from his presentation was about how he was always willing to take some risks, and those risks often led him to doing bigger things. I also enjoyed hearing him talk about life-long learning. He really challenged us to continue learning and never stop.”

At the end of the night, Duncan had not only highlighted his career, but he challenged the members of the entrepreneurs club to do five things:

Enjoy your journey, accept new challenges, strive for excellence, find how you can make a difference and find your passion and pursue it.