Wireless pioneer and entrepreneur Declan Ganley delivered a rousing address to the Christendom community earlier this semester, encouraging students to focus on maintaining their Catholic faith in their pursuit of success.
Ganley, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Rivada Networks, a leader in wireless technology innovation, first encountered Christendom in the early 2000s, when he discovered one of college founder Dr. Warren Carroll’s books. Soon enough, he read all of the volumes, and highly recommended them to those who had yet to read them.
“Dr. Carroll’s books are the greatest history books written in the history of the world,” said Ganley. “The reason why is because it gets the equation right. The equation of history is incomplete, and it draws the wrong conclusions if you don’t understand that God is an actor in history, and Dr. Carroll understood this. He saw this acting out through his own professional life, and he put this into his history.”
Ganley later met Dr. Carroll before his death. At that point, Ganley began to meet others from Christendom, and began to see the fruits of the college in the world at large.
“You are very lucky to be able to spend your time at this point in your life at such an important place, founded by such great people, where the Holy Spirit and the cause of Christendom has found new roots, and it gives me great hope to come visit this place and see you all here, and know that we’re on the way to understanding the mission of what needs to be done.”
Ganley discussed his own personal journey to faith and entrepreneurship during his talk. He was born in London to Irish parents and moved to Ireland as a teen and finished school there, before venturing out into Europe to found various companies. In the midst of these major life moments, Ganley held tightly to his Catholic faith, and encouraged those present to do the same in their lives.
“You can own businesses, you can build mansions, houses, jets, helicopters, you name it. You can have millions of dollars, billions of dollars, but someone can take that off you. The one thing they cannot force from you is your faith — as long as you’re willing to pay any price for it. They can take your life, but they can’t take your faith,” said Ganley.
Throughout his life, Ganley has encountered many occasions of temptation, and cautioned students to not go against moral principles to become wealthy.
“You’ll always be offered shortcuts to wealth — shortcuts that cheat people who have worked harder than you, who have invested more than you, who deserve more success in that particular thing than you. That is where character and faith comes in. Have you got the guts, are you man or woman enough, are you Christian enough, to walk away from temptation when it presents itself as a short path to a billion dollars? Can you say to yourself, defend the faith, when those moments come? The world will come at you in every which way that it can. The devil tempts — he does it in business and inside families, and there’s always temptation. If you resist, you’ll find that there’s a better path to success.”
To conclude his talk, Ganley encouraged students to utilize their Catholic faith as their guiding light in all things.
“We’re all playing for eternity here, and that’s the gift that we’ve been given by the Roman Catholic Faith: the knowledge that we are all playing for eternity, that the world must not be able to trip us up on our journey to eternity. Remember why you’re here. The path to success, faith and entrepreneurship, of leading forward, taking risks, the answer is in the faith that you have been gifted. Treasure it, never let it go, never negotiate it away, and always use it as your guiding light. If you do that, I promise you, you will never regret it,” said Ganley.
Ganley was a featured speaker in the “Outside the Box” speaker series, organized by the college’s career development office. This series invites successful Catholics of influence to speak to students and to inspire them in their call to greatness. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was last semester’s inaugural speaker in this series.