Murthy Sponsors Steve Wozniak Lecture in Baltimore

On January 14th, Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, was on hand for a lecture by one of the giants of the digital age: Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, the latest eminent guest to take the stage for Stevenson University’s Baltimore Speaker Series. The Murthy Law Firm was a proud sponsor of this event, and Ms. Murthy – a longtime supporter of Stevenson University, and an active member of the Board of Trustees – had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Wozniak at a small private dinner before the lecture.

In a spellbinding and personal account, Mr. Wozniak traced the genesis of the first Apple computers, reminding us how much the world has changed since he was a teenager in Cupertino, California, following his passion for all things electronic. Back then, computers were room-sized capital equipment, staggeringly expensive and accessible only to a privileged few in industry, academia, and government. Thus, it was nothing short of revolutionary when Steve Wozniak designed the first affordable and user-friendly computer, in the mid-70s – on the order of inventing the printing press, because it made the power of computing available to ordinary people. He went on to describe the origins of Apple Computer, and his friendship with Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.

The lecture had special relevance for Sheela Murthy, herself a digital pioneer, who has worked to make immigration law more transparent, accessible, and user-friendly by providing a wealth of free information on her firm’s award-winning website, MurthyDotCom. In a very real sense, it was the work of Mr. Wozniak and Mr. Jobs that made it all possible. By creating a culture of personal computing, they fuelled the rise of the internet – and Wozniak similarly gave away his first designs for free!

The parallels didn’t end there. Mr. Wozniak also touched on his philanthropic interests in education, and talked fondly of the years he spent as a volunteer in the California public schools, teaching children about science and technology. Had he not become an engineer, Wozniak said, he would have become a teacher, “because they’re so important to our future!” It’s a message that resonates with the philanthropic commitments of Sheela Murthy and her husband, Vasant Nayak, who have given generously of their time, talents, and treasure to support the work of the Agastya International Foundation, a Bangalore-based nonprofit that provides hands-on science education to underprivileged children in rural India.

It was a fascinating evening. Among the many inspirational lessons that can be drawn from Mr. Wozniak’s story: follow your passion, push beyond what you think is possible, never stop innovating, and never stop giving back – lessons that are put into practice every day at the Murthy Law Firm!

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