Dear Fellow St. Paul’s Alumni,
As I write this letter to fellow St. Paul's Alumni, I'm not entirely sure how I ended up in the Alumni Council Chairman's position. While I have participated in several fundraisers over the years, I was never asked to lead the charge. I'll admit that I was initially hesitant to accept. The daily responsibilities of being a husband, father, coach, and professional can be draining. And given the complexities of the world we now find ourselves in, it was tempting to take the easy way out by politely declining.
However, reflecting on 2020 and the challenges COVID-19 has posed to our community and our school, I cannot help but think what might have happened if St. Paul’s had “politely declined” to step up in a critical time of need for our children. Our alma mater's strength and perseverance were showcased by a quick transition to online learning. As the shutdowns continued, I like many of you, wondered if we would return in the Fall. Just as unwavering as in the Spring, St. Paul’s decided to set themselves apart from many other institutions and once more refused to “politely decline.” Their decision to go against the status quo of shuttering campuses took months of preparation, dedication, and leadership, which has continued into 2021 as St. Paul’s prepares to welcome students back for another school year in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. I am grateful, now more than ever, for the opportunities St. Paul's provides to students, faculty, families, and our community.
None of this comes as a surprise. I spent the majority of my youth at St. Paul's, attending 1st – 12th grade and graduating in 1999. The memories, friendships, lessons, and values that I learned and developed in my time there are things I will always be grateful for. It truly is a special place to myself – as well as everyone reading this letter. Even though the campus continues to change, the things that make St. Paul's special never will. While the school focuses on the four pillars of academics, athletics, art and spirituality, we know there is more to it. The experience of this place cannot be summed up in those four words. The St. Paul's family teaches our children how to grow, how to succeed, how to care, how to interact, how to give back, and so much more.
My wife (Erin Baldwin) and I have three amazing boys who are following in my footsteps as current students at St. Paul's (Logan 6th, Declan 4th, Graham 1st). It is a great feeling to watch them roam the same halls that I did so many years ago. Sixteen years into my career with Hancock Whitney Bank, I still find myself leaning on the relationships and values built during my time there.
I have chosen not only to take on the position of Alumni Council Chairman but also to encourage others to contribute. From attending social events, to volunteering and charitable giving, there are many forms a contribution can take. When called on, I hope that you too will refuse to "politely decline." If you would like more information about the ways in which you can give back, please don't hesitate to reach out to me by phone (251.591.9959) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of ‘99