Terence "Terry" L. O'Rourke Jr., MD ’86
“I want everyone, but especially the students at Moravian, to be able to live their best lives and to never stop learning and trying new things.”
Describe your Moravian experience.
I flourished in the challenge of being a student-athlete at a school where I knew no one when I started. I learned and obtained some mastery over time management, resistance to peer pressure, living according to principles, setting high expectations and exceeding them.
How have you been involved at Moravian, and why did you get involved?
I feel a deep connection to Moravian. I came back to give a talk while in Medical school and have enjoyed visiting with my professors, meeting and talking with students, and establishing my scholarship since. Because it is a smaller university, I can have a bigger impact.
What do you like/enjoy most about Moravian, and why is it so important to you?
It really is like a family. I am very introverted, but I also am confident in what I have to offer and feel appreciated and welcomed. It has been very gratifying to see it grow and change in such positive ways, even through the pandemic.
What would you like to see improved or changed at Moravian, if anything?
The biggest thing to me is to be environmentally conscious. Reduce waste, plastic use, encourage reuse/recycling, and turn out young people who see their effects on the local ecosystem in addition to the big world around them.
What type of legacy do you hope to leave at Moravian? How would you like to be remembered?
I do not care much about a legacy, except maybe to be an example of how things can get done in a way to help the most. I care a lot about everything, but maybe the least about my importance. I want people to care about their lives, the lives of others, and this world.
What motivates you to stay involved at Moravian?
I care about the world and its people, especially young people. I've lived an amazing life, but it all seemed so ordinary because I wasn't afraid to be different and had abilities that were nourished and encouraged. I learned to have an open mind and a sense of curiosity and wonder in all aspects of life. I want everyone, but especially the students at Moravian, to be able to live their best lives and to never stop learning and trying new things.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that Moravian does?
It helps people reach their goals. It sets them up for success.
Why do you volunteer/donate?
I have plenty of time and money, so those are easy to part with. It is harder to harness my expertise and experiences, but I am always looking for ways to do so. Most people cannot relate to how I approach life, and I understand that, but if I say or do even little things that can help someone see and attain a different future, it is all worth it.
Which contribution/achievement are your most proud of in your work? At Moravian? In your personal life/community?
Overcoming my introversion with self-confidence, overcoming being consistently underestimated to become an excellent doctor, and then going places and doing things all over the world, in different cultures, that helped so many people, and having so much fun along the way. I am hilarious and can make even the bleakest situations fun. That and my problem-solving skills are probably my greatest talents. I often dwell on the disappointment of not getting enough good things done and not having enough influence to get the big changes we need, but I also keep trying.
What do you hope Moravian will achieve in the near future? Long term?
Keep improving the educational and life-building experiences of young people. Tap into the skills of its alumni, the family, and meeting people where they are while helping them get where they should be in life.
Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement at Moravian? Who inspires you to support Moravian?
The active alumni engagement personnel and I work well together. I only need a nudge and I get things done. Otherwise, my role would be limited. I love to be involved, to be a part of something bigger that makes a difference. No one at Moravian has ever wasted my time or my money, and they are all good company.
Do you have a message to share with the Moravian University community?
First, care. Try to get as many distractions out of your life as you can. Second, see where you can get involved, even if it is donating money, but even better, personally, with the university and with young people. Third, be an example you can be proud of.