Tracy LaQuey Parker: Thank you to the Internet Society. I am hon­ored to be induct­ed into the Internet Hall of Fame. I know and have worked with a num­ber of the pre­vi­ous inductees, and I’ve spent some time learn­ing about the amaz­ing accom­plish­ments of this year’s inductees. I’m incred­i­bly proud and hum­ble to be a part of this group.

I often think back to my life before I start­ed using the Internet. Well basi­cal­ly I had a life. But once I sat down at a Sun work­sta­tion at the University of Texas in 1988, I was com­plete­ly hooked. And I’ve been addict­ed ever since. I thought I was the luck­i­est per­son on the plan­et to have that job. Because send­ing email to peo­ple all over the world was just about the coolest thing I had ever done. And I still think it’s amaz­ing, almost thir­ty years lat­er.

Did I envi­sion what the Internet was going to be when it grew up? Absolutely not. But I always felt, deep down, well before the Web was invent­ed, that the Internet was some­how going to be huge. And that it would have a pro­found effect on everyone’s lives, and I want­ed every­body to know about it. That’s what drove me to pro­mote it, to explain it, and to push for ways that it could be used by every­one, not just the researchers, com­put­er sci­en­tists, and engi­neers. And I had so much fun. I trav­eled the world. I worked with many tal­ent­ed peo­ple. And I made a lot of friends, many of whom I’m still friends with today.

The Internet is suc­cess­ful because of col­lab­o­ra­tion and I’m grate­ful that I was a part of this con­tin­gent. I owe a great debt of thanks to every­one who sup­port­ed me. They gave me the free­dom and encour­age­ment to exper­i­ment and take risks. I’d like to thank a few of these peo­ple, but my list is by no means exhaus­tive.

First I have to cred­it my Internet push­ers,” Stuart Vance and Phil Bard, who hired me at the University of Texas to cre­ate net­work infor­ma­tion ser­vices for the UT cam­pus, the Texas Higher Education Network, and the Texas Education Network.

I want to acknowl­edge the sup­port and inspi­ra­tion dur­ing the time I worked on The User’s Directory of Computer Networks and The Internet Companion from so many peo­ple includ­ing John Quarterman, Laura Fillmore, Vint Cerf, Jeff Houston, Susan Estrada, and Cathy Aronson.

And while I was at Cisco Systems, I ben­e­fit­ed tremen­dous­ly from the men­tor­ing a Steve Wolff, Ed Kozel, Gary Kunis, John Morgridge, and Kate [Meither?].

Finally I want to thank my fam­i­ly. My par­ents, who hap­pen to be here tonight, Alan and Sherry LaQuey. My chil­dren Harrison and Henry. And my hus­band Patrick Parker, who is also here. Patrick played a key role behind the scenes, and with­out his sup­port I could not have accom­plished what I did.

In clos­ing, I have always admired the Internet’s open struc­ture, which pro­vides the oppor­tu­ni­ty for every par­tic­i­pant to be a peer, and has allowed the Internet to con­tin­ue to evolve. The Internet implementer’s creed defined by the great Jon Postel in RFC 793 has been a guid­ing rule and pro­to­col design, and states be con­ser­v­a­tive in what you do, be lib­er­al in what you [accept] from oth­ers.” I think this con­tin­ues to be won­der­ful advice for both the Internet and for life in gen­er­al. Thank you again.


Help Support Open Transcripts

If you found this useful or interesting, please consider supporting the project monthly at Patreon or once via Square Cash, or even just sharing the link. Thanks.