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In 1983 Dr. Robert Spetzler came to the Barrow Neurological Institute. Over the next 30+ years Dr. Spetzler (and importantly with his team) built the premier neurosurgery program. In that time Dr. Spetzler authored over 700 publications, authored or co-authored 270 book chapters and 20 books. The BNI now has the largest neurosurgical residency in the US and a BNI alumni is now on staff at half of the university programs in the US with many others alumni providing leadership around the world. Retiring in June of 2017, Dr. Spetzler reflections on his career and offers perspectives on building a center of excellence.