In the fall of 1959, Mr. Slack was a retired attorney living in Botetourt County enjoying the fruits of a successful career in Texas and California. A graduate of VMI, he was instrumental in founding an independent school in Houston, Texas. Mr. Slack was contacted by Brounie Trout and Dot Saunders and asked to lead the education enterprise that founded the Wellington School in Roanoke in 1960 and that later joined forces with North Cross School in Salem and the Eaton School in 1961. Under his leadership, the three schools merged into one. From the time Mr. Slack served as chairman of the school’s board until his death in 1974, the school grew from a single building with 183 students into a two division school with an enrollment of 475 by the fall of 1973. More than anyone, he influenced the intangibles that give the school its identity. Today, two buildings on campus bear his name and one of the highest awards bestowed at commencement is given in his honor. The Thomas A. Slack Award is presented to the student in the senior class who has rendered the highest service to North Cross School through leadership based on the influence of character.
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