I was born in Utica, New York and spent my school years in River Edge, New Jersey, just outside New York City. I truly enjoy the upstate New York region, visiting my alma mater, Colgate, and vacationing there. I consider Roanoke my home—it is a lot like where I grew up—a nice town with friendly people and a community feel, and easy to get around.
What’s your passion here? What motivates you to do what you do?
My passion is for the students. I see them as bank accounts into which everyone here—parents, faculty, coaches, staff, administration—are making daily significant deposits. Each day, I look forward to being part of a school that makes a daily deposit in each student's account—a gift of love of learning, a gift of what honor means, a gift of the joy of trying your best, and a deposit of the satisfaction of succeeding. Over their time here, those students' accounts have grown significantly in value, and we can all rejoice seeing them cash them in as they achieve things here and go to college prepared for their 4 years and beyond. I believe each of us can make a difference, and should. When I see people here I smile—I'm glad to be here and I want students and peers to know how I feel. We have a lot to smile about in this great place—and I have so many examples of the special things that happen here to talk about in our admission visits.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. Reading this book in our class in the 60's knowing that it had been published in the late 40's was fascinating. For us, 1984 was 15 years in the future and we thought, talked, and wrote about.what was predicted to happen. We contemplated a society where "Big Brother" would watch over you, surveillance cameras would spy on you, where you would get into trouble for not using "Newspeak" or not accepting "doublethink" and it was so hard to think our world would turn out that way.
Who do you consider as your mentor, and what have you learned from them?
That's an easy one. My brother, Jim, is my mentor. He's 10 1/2 years older, and has "been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt" in so many things. With much love and much patience, he shares what he's learned every chance he can and every time I ask for his help. He reminds me how everyone wants the same things—to be treated fairly and kindly, to be significant to someone or something, to be encouraged and coached, and to be safe and secure.
What's your favorite North Cross tradition—Is it the same as when you were a student?
It's so hard to pick just one, so I won't. I'm a sap for Fat Pencil and Senior Buddies and cry every time I am there to witness them both. I also love Stephen Alexander and his tradition at the end of every football game when he calls for “family huddle”—a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate the deliberate process he and his coaches take their team through as they create their special program and grow young men.
If you didn't do what you do here, what else would you be doing?
Well, I'm 63 now and am enjoying life and giving back to a world that has blessed me in so many ways. I'd like to keep doing that, wherever I am and whatever I do. I love my family and friends, cooking and eating a great meal, love life in the Thousand Islands with friends, fishing, playing tennis and golf, and boating. With Campbell gone and with Katherine heading off to college in a year and a half, I don't know what it will be like to be empty nesters, so I guess I'll have to figure that out. I know there has always been a plan for me, and I'm looking forward to what is coming around the bend.