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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

A Great Education

Jim Baird '75

from The Bridge: Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue

At Commencement 2010: Virginia, James Jr., Jim.Jim Baird '75 has made a six-figure commitment to establish the Baird Family Scholarship. "I wanted the scholarship to encompass my entire family, so they all could feel that they are participating in it," he explains.

Baird's brother Jerry graduated in 1978, and two of his three children are W&L graduates. His daughter Virginia Baird Thomas '06 is married to Chad (Charles) Thomas '06. His son James Baird Jr. '10, who received his commission in Lee Chapel upon graduating, is a first lieutenant in the Army.

"The University has meant so much to me, especially as a way to share and connect with my father," Virginia Thomas says. "Now I understand the value of a W&L education even more than when I was an undergraduate. I am so proud of my father for establishing this scholarship and affording others the ability to share in the same great experience."

"W&L provides the small-school experience, while drawing students from all over the country and all over the world. I got a great education that allowed me to be able to endow this scholarship," Baird adds. "Private school tuition is expensive. I wanted to raise money so kids wouldn't have to borrow to attend the school, and so the school could continue to attract the best students regardless of need."

"It makes me happy that someone can have the W&L experience who might not have been able to afford to," agrees Thomas. "My husband and I hope to be able to provide a scholarship as well someday. It is a neat way to give back to the school."