On Saturday, October 12, 2019, Dr. Woodie Flowers passed away due to medical complications. Woodie was a co-founder of FIRST, co-chair of the FIRST executive advisory board, distinguished advisor of FIRST, and a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. He coined the term "Gracious Professionalism", which has become the center of First's values for nearly 30 years now.
Woodie taught us Gracious Professionalism. We learned that even though we compete on the field, we help each other off the field. It's a competition, but all of us, regardless of team, are committed to one collective goal, and we need to help each other to achieve that goal. We're all trying to learn and spread STEM the world over. This is the basis on which FIRST's very unique atmosphere is based on.
Woodie taught us to be better people. From his "Good Stuff" videos played at competitions, to his speeches at events around the world, he reached countless people of all ages. His message was of peace and acceptance, and we all should take a lesson from his lessons.
In conclusion, Dr. Flowers reached millions of pupils, students, mentors, companies, and more in his mission to make the world a better place. He has left a lasting effect on nearly everyone he's come across, and us personally. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish a sorrowful farewell to an amazing person.