World War II broke out on December 7, 1941.
By the next fall, at the age of 12, I was enrolled in a
tough military prep school called McDonough, located in
the countryside just north of Baltimore, Maryland. We slept
in a barrack with double-decker bunks and steel-gray lockers
at the head of each bunk. We were marched to breakfast in
the freezing cold, and barracks inspection followed breakfast.
The food was terrible, the military discipline rigorous,
and the classes were hard. It was like West Point for teenagers.
I was in the cavalry troop, so in addition to the high-collared
tunic, I wore gray flared riding breeches with a gold stripe
down each side and black riding boots.
"To Glorify God "
My last two years of high school in 1944 to 1946 were spent
at McCallie Prep School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. McCallie
was founded by a devout Presbyterian family. The school
motto that still lives with me was taken from the Westminster
Confession of Fait: "Man's chief aim is to glorify God and
enjoy Him forever." At McCallie, we had dorm prayer meetings,
chapel meetings, compulsory church attendance, Sabbath observance,
and, among most faculty and students, a clear and sincere
respect for the Lord and His Word.
At McCallie, each student had required athletics.
In the fall, I played tackle on the football team. In the
spring, I tried the shot-put with minimal success. The big
deal was winter on the boxing team. At 14 and 15, I
boxed heavyweight in the city tournament and the novice
division of the Golden Gloves. In the Golden Gloves, my
second-round opponent made the mistake of overeating
before the fight. We sparred in the first round, then in
the second I hit him hard in the stomach and he doubled
over. The referee came at me with a stern look on his face.
I thought I had done something wrong until he raised my
hand for a technical knockout. I lost the finals by a close
decision, but was given a tiny silver glove to memorialize
my final moment of glory.
A Liberal Arts Degree
In the Fall of 1946, I enrolled at Washington & Lee
University where I studied for a liberal arts degree with
a major in history. Although I worked hard at my studies,
my real major centered around lovely young ladies who attended
the nearby girls schools -- Sweet Briar, Randolph Macon, Hollins,
Mary Baldwin, and Southern Seminary. I joined the S.A.E.
fraternity my freshman year, and quickly received what
seemed a post-graduate course in wild partying.
Social life, not withstanding, my freshman
grades were good enough for membership in the Phi Eta Sigma
honorary society, and at the beginning of my senior year
I had a high enough grade point average to qualify for membership
in Phi Beta Kappa. In 1948,
President Truman re-instituted a military draft. I had the
choice of enlisting in the Marines as an officer candidate
or being drafted as a private in the Army. I took the Marine
option which let me finish college so long as I attended
two summers of boot training for officers at Quantico, Virginia,
first with the rank of corporal, then as sergeant.
I graduated from Washington & Lee, Magna
cum Laude, and at my graduation for the first time in the
history of the school, a graduate was formally commissioned
a second lieutenant in the armed forces of the United States.
Studying in Britain
In June 1950, I enrolled at the University of London
for a survey course called "The Arts in Britain Today."
We listened to T.S. Eliot, read poems, watched Dame Margot
Fonteyn dance ballet at Covent Garden, studied the paintings
at the Royal Gallery, learned of the architectural history
of Britain and were taught about British drama and fishing
by the theater critic of The London Times.
In the summer of 1952 I enrolled for the
fall semester at the Yale University Law School. My class
was filled with top students. Eighty-eight percent were
Phi Beta Kappa or its equivalent at their undergraduate
college. Several were class valedictorian or Summa cum Laude
A Law School Degree
I specialized in tax and corporate law, but took the requisite
classes in contracts, torts, procedure, negotiable instruments,
bankruptcy, estates, and constitutional law. I graduated
in 1955 with what later became a Juris Doctor degree.
In 1959 I graduated from Biblical Seminary
with what became a Master of Divinity degree. At 29, I had
ten years of higher education: a B.A. degree, a Juris Doctor,
and a Master of Divinity, plus two years active duty in
the U.S. Marine Corps, government experience, business experience
and a growing family.
My real work lay ahead.