Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Mentors Students as HPU Innovator in Residence

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

He’s known around the world as the co-founder and inventor behind Apple Computer. But on High Point University’s campus, Steve Wozniak is known as an advisor and mentor.

Wozniak returned to campus today in his role as HPU’s Innovator in Residence. He worked with students, visited classrooms and spoke to a crowd of nearly 800 people during an interactive, student question-and-answer session moderated by HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein.

“You have to be innovative,” Qubein said at the event’s kickoff. “If you’re leading an organization and you’re not being innovative, you risk becoming irrelevant. We’re competing on a global platform. These young men and women in this audience will compete in that very competitive, very demanding marketplace. And so you have to be relevant.

“Innovation leads to success, and success leads to significance,” Qubein also said. “We love having Steve Wozniak as a member of our family at High Point University and are honored to have him here today. He speaks about HPU everywhere he goes and truly loves this university.”

Wozniak discussed how he builds innovative technology, but also how he finds motivation and builds a happy life.

“Motivation – wanting to do something – is much more important than knowledge,” Wozniak said. “I didn’t know when I started out that what I was doing was valuable. I didn’t know that I’d be an engineer. I just knew that I had a passion for doing it.

“I taught middle and elementary school seven days a week for eight years. I was teaching students and teachers how to use technology in the classroom. And that’s when I decided that the most important thing was making the class enjoyable and finding students who were motivated and wanted to learn. Somebody who wants to learn – you can’t stop them.”

HPU freshman Hogan Millheim asked Wozniak about facing fears as an entrepreneur. 

“Fear often holds back many potential entrepreneurs and professionals while they try to take the next step in their careers,” Millheim said. “What advice would you provide to young entrepreneurs or people seeking to take that next step and overcome this fear of failure and rejection?” 

“You shouldn’t fear failure,” Wozniak said. “When you fail, just try to ask yourself ‘how can I proceed in the most constructive way?’ It’s the better way to approach life. Worry about being happy, don’t worry about success. Don’t worry about failing as much as the decision that you’re going to live life in a way that makes you happy.”

When Wozniak joined HPU as Innovator in Residence in 2016, he began working with a team of HPU students to build a self-driving vehicle. Today, inside HPU’s Cottrell Hall, Wozniak met with those students to continue their work on what is now known as the “Woz Project.”

“It’s such an honor working with Mr. Wozniak,” said Michael Welter, a junior physics major who is leading the team of students building the self-driving vehicle. “As well as being brilliant, he is extremely down-to-earth and focused on mentoring HPU students. He has opened our eyes to how much we can accomplish when we work together.”

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with more than 4,900 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South, No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Best Undergraduate Teaching in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2018 edition of “The Best 382 Colleges” in the nation, as well as Best Career Services (No. 19), Best-Run Colleges (No. 20), Best College Dorm Rooms (No. 7), a Great School for Communication Majors and a Great School for Business/Finance Majors. For seven years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for business and education programs, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 57 undergraduate minors and 13 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the web at



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak participates in an interactive question-and-answer session led by students and moderated by High Point University President Dr. Nido Qubein. Wozniak held a working session with computer science students who he began mentoring in 2016 in their efforts to build an autonomous, self-driving vehicle.

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