Ever since 1975 classmates Bill Fairchild and Beth (Adams) Walker met in biology their first year at Culver Academies, they have been competitive. And, most of the time, Walker has had the upper hand.
“Ever since we’ve known each other, she has beaten me at everything. Ping-pong, tennis, everything,” Fairchild laughed before their self-described battle-of-sexes, match play golf tournament at the Academies’ golf course on Saturday, July 11. That held true-to-form, with Walker taking the match, 3-and-2, in front of a small gallery of about 20 classmates, family, and friends.
“It was terrible. I’m a better winner than a loser,” Fairchild wrote in an email. But, he added, it was a “really good time and a great turnout.”
Walker admitted she wasn’t at the top of her game either. “Neither one of us had played to a ‘gallery’ before,” she said in her missive. “But that’s the nature of the game. It was a fun round.”
The basic rules were Walker would play from the red tees and Fairchild from the white tees. Walker, though, did ignore the strange tee placement on the first hole overlooking Devil’s Backbone. The reds had mysteriously been moved to 10 yards behind the whites. Leadership Instructor Don Fox ’75, who served as referee for the match, also ignored the adjustment.
Fairchild’s “good walk spoiled,” though, had a much greater purpose than trying to even the score with Walker. Their match raised more than $30,000 for the class’s “Making a Difference Scholarship” program. Since 2006, the class has provided a full tuition scholarship for a Culver student for all four years.
Fairchild conceived the golf match as a fundraiser for this fiscal year. Throwing in a few incentives, he got classmates to place “bets” on their favorite player, with the vast majority of the money backing Walker – much to his chagrin.
Tony Giraldi ’75, Culver’s Chief International Officer, said the class created the scholarship while looking for a way to support the school. It was a tangible way for everyone involved to see their dollars at work, he explained.
Along with sponsoring a student now, the Class of 1975 is building an endowed fund to ensure its lasting impact. Giraldi said the goal is to have the scholarship fully endowed by the class’s 50th reunion in 2025.