“How did Isaiah Williamson define success?,” asked Paul Reid, Williamson’s former president, trustee, and chancellor, in his keynote Founder’s Day address Thursday evening in the chapel. “He defined success not by what you do, but by who you are.”
“Success is a student or graduate being truthful and hardworking. He is not successful because of what he did. This doesn’t mean that what you do is not important. But character is what counts. Mr. Williamson knew that character would endure until the end of time. This is why this school is still here, producing ‘Williamson Men.’”
Samuel Wrightson, vice president of education, in the welcoming remarks, said “Isaiah Williamson could hear the needs of society and then founded this school. He was a man of commitment and action and we have felt his actions over 125 years.”
Jared Pendleton, senior class president, in his tribute to Isaiah Williamson said, “It’s a blessing to be a student here. Attending this school is not the most fun, it is not the easiest, and it is the most challenging. This school is rare in our society. We are learning to be diligent workers. We are here because of one man’s interest in helping young men.”
Stacy Starr 6W8, the Alumni Association president, in his tribute said “Isaiah Williamson founded a school that provides students with a good education. The rest is up to you. When I was a student I never heard a classmate say I wish I had not gone here. One day you realize, ‘If not for Williamson, where would I be?”
In his introduction of Reid, President Michael Rounds said “If I can be half the president Paul Reid was I will be happy.”
After Reid’s remarks, Rounds presented him with a metal cube award made in the Machine Shop by machine tool technology students, saying “As president you handed out so many of these cubes it’s about time you received one.”
Ellis Adams, president of the Sons of the American Revolution-Philadelphia Continental Chapter, presented the SAR’s William Yearsley 4W1 Outstanding Citizenship Award to Brian McAlinney, a machine tool technology junior. The award is presented to a junior who has shown outstanding citizenship and the qualities of industry, self-discipline, personal integrity, reliability, and contributions above the call of duty. He also must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher and have fewer than 28 disciplinary points.
The Artisans led the audience in the singing of the alma mater and Rev. Mark Specht 7W7 gave the invocation and benediction.
After the program, guests went to the dining room for a buffet dinner prepared by Tim Burbage, food service director, and his staff. Next, guests watched the varsity basketball team take on the alumni team. The alumni team lead throughout most of the game, but the varsity team caught up in the last minutes, winning 81-78.