A friend forwarded the following from Greenwich County Day School, regarding President Bush:
Honoring President George H.W. Bush
GCDS Class of 1937
From Adam Rohdie, Headmaster
On November 30, America and the global community lost a leader and statesman whose life is a testament to the power of service and an enduring commitment to encourage others to make the world better—both now and for the future. Today we honor the life of George Herbert Walker Bush, and remember him for his devoted service to his country—as a President, international diplomat, and war hero. At GCDS, we also look back to the time when as a young student he showed so much promise.
In 1937, GCDS Headmaster G. Denis Meadows described George H.W. Bush’s achievements in a brief but informative letter of recommendation addressed to the Director of Admissions at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. It read: “Report on Walker Bush. At the top of his class, Walker Bush is a boy of excellent character. Conspicuously straightforward and reliable. Superior all-around ability in both studies and athletics. Consistently industrious. Attractive personality.”
After attending GCDS and Phillips Academy, George H.W. Bush enlisted as a naval aviator and became, at eighteen years old, the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy. He flew in World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his volunteer engagement in combat. In the fall of 1945, he continued his education at Yale University, where he majored in economics, received a Phi Beta Kappa key for his strong academic record, and was captain of the baseball team. Following a career in the oil industry, Bush went on to a life of public service, culminating in the most esteemed leadership position in the world.
In May 1997, President Bush returned to Country Day to receive the GCDS Distinguished Alumnus Award. While speaking at the Sixtieth Reunion Dinner for his class of 1937, President Bush reflected: “We got a good education here, a very good one. So many of the values learned right here came in handy after we left school. When I was president, I often thought back to the advice given us by Headmaster Miner and Headmaster Meadows…. At the Philadelphia Summit on Volunteerism concluded a month ago, I thought back to this place and to family. I realized once again how lucky I was to be privileged, not in the material things but in the values that I was privileged to learn from teachers here and from my parents.”
It mentions that Bush was “consistently industrious.” I have had the opportunity to occasionally observe Ivy League and rich WASPERs (White Anglo Saxon Protestant Episcopal Republican) directly, but am not of either class of them. Experience has indicated that real WASPs are generally industrious, even if rich. And, they tend to have an acute sense of propriety and tend to be frugal and not flashy.
I had the good fortune to spend the summer of 1981 working for Walter Cronkite at his summer home in Edgartown. Mostly, I sailed with him and while doing so got to meet some intriguing and notable people including the late Jayne and Frank Ikard. Walter’s daughter, Kathy, was to married the son Frank Ikard and his first wife. Anyway, I’ll never forget sitting with a few guests of the Cronkite’s, including Jayne Ikard, during cocktails one evening. She was talking about someone and made reference a person as “NOCD.” I later found out that was an acronym for Not of Our Class Dear. I would be described by the late Ms. Ikard as being NOCD. But kept my mouth shut that summer and listened to the conversations around me which taught me a lot about the upper class.
Bush was both Ivy League — HYP Ivy League, specifically — and definitely a WASPER. I’d venture to say that the two were closely related back in Bush’s university days, unlike today. There are now a lot of posers, and people with money, but not necessarily industrious with attractive personalities. Just some thoughts on a gray, wet, nasty Sunday morning. — BC