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Jack Speed Jr.

Class Year(s): 1967

How did you get to Andrew College?
At the time of my arrival on campus in 1965, Andrew was a very small college with an enrollment of about 500 or so students. The unique thing was that many of our students were from out-of-state, so one met new friends from all over Georgia/Florida and occasionally outside of the U.S., yet keeping that closeness vs. a larger school.

In what year did you graduate and what was your major?
I attended Andrew from 1965-1967 and did not graduate. My major was “Party Time.”

Where did you go and what did you do after leaving Andrew College?
I transferred to The University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss,” during the summer of 1967. I graduated from there with a major in education. Upon completing my bachelors, I taught school in New Orleans for a year before being drafted. I was discharged from the USMC as an officer, worked for the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department for 31 years, retired as a Paramedic Captain. I was deployed to LA following Hurricane Katrina for three weeks, awarded the Medal of Valor for swift water rescues made during Tropical Storm Gaston, completed Bon Secours College of Nursing, retiring from St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, VA as an RN, completed 16 medical mission trips in the U.S. and overseas. I obtained my private pilot’s license at the age of 70, one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Who are some of the Andrew friends you’ve remained close with over the years?
Over the years I have kept in touch with Don McPhail, Lee Wagoner and Jimmy Bentley. This past spring I visited with Jimmy and his wife Donna.

Were there any teachers or administrators that influenced your life?
Yes, Dr. Dorcas Gambill and Ms. Staples were the two most influential faculty members during my time at Andrew. Both of them encouraged you to study during their classes, ask questions about life and have fun while attempting to be serious students–of course that did not always work for me.

What impact did Andrew College have on you later in life? (personally, professionally or religiously)
Andrew allowed me to learn how to interact with others socially; it offered me the opportunity to develop my study skills (which I often did not do) and to think and reason on my own.

What kind of advice would you give to today’s students?
People have always wanted to “toot” their own horns for different reasons: so until proven otherwise, believe only 50% of what people tell you; do your own research to find answers to questions. Be kind to others, especially the less fortunate. Volunteer to make a difference.

“It is not who you are or what you are but rather it is what you do that matters.”

Anecdote: Almost immediately following Rat Week during my freshman year, the college began to strictly enforce rules on the students concerning curfew times for dormitories. This pressure along with warm weather (dorms did not have AC) caused an unsettling among many students, so a “panty raid” was to be held one evening on the girls’ dorms. Apparently this information leaked to the Dean of Students, Dean Barnes. At approximately 9:00 p.m. one evening a trumpet sounded from the men’s dorm and one hundred yelling boys crossed into the forbidden zone, the area between the men’s and women’s dorms. As the onslaught of men rushed towards Dean Barnes and the women’s dorm, you could see the look of fear in his eyes just before the wave knocked and trampled him to the ground. He was not injured, only his pride.