Dr. William (Bill) Crouch '61 left high school a year early, realizing that going into medicine involved a lot of school and he wanted a head start.
"My dad went to Clemson where I was always going until I got accepted to Davidson," he said. "I was so proud to get into this outstanding college, and there was no doubt that this is where I wanted to be."
An important lesson Crouch learned at Davidson is that failure to prepare leads to failure. Also, Bill's dad taught him that "there is no free lunch." Anything that you achieve, you will have to earn. Crouch believes everyone should have the opportunity to succeed, but every individual must earn the blessings and rewards through hard work. He says this aligns with Davidson's philosophy of achievement through diligent preparation. Ensuring that more students have the opportunity to succeed at Davidson is the purpose of Crouch's latest commitment to his alma mater, which comes in the form of a legacy bequest.
"Davidson means a lot to me, and I hope this gift will help the college offer an educational opportunity to someone who may have difficulty coming up with the tuition," he said. "It is truly a privilege and a pleasure to be able to give to Davidson."
Crouch remembers his positive interaction with Professor Olin Puckett who ran the biology department and was chairman of the pre-medicine program at Davidson. He describes Puckett as a no-nonsense teacher who was extremely thoughtful and supportive for those trying to get into medical school without the best of academic credentials. Thrilled to earn his way into the Medical University of South Carolina, Crouch promised himself he would never be caught unprepared again.
Crouch graduated near the top of his class at MUSC, completed his general surgical training in Virginia and his cardiothoracic surgical training in Washington. He practiced cardiothoracic surgery in Southern California and Colorado, where he lives today.
He remembers exceptional peers in medical school and residencies, but he ranks students at Davidson second to none.
"These men were outstanding; likable, hard-working, and extremely bright. Wherever I was, I was always proud to say I went to Davidson College."
Crouch remains connected to Davidson from Colorado. He and 11 others from his Kappa Sigma pledge class remain close staying connected through e-mail. They had a wonderful get together during the fall of 2015, reminding him of the bonds that start at Davidson and stay with graduates forever.
"This is part of what it means to be a Davidson alumnus; you're part of an institution that represents close camaraderie, hard work, and diligence," said Crouch.
He and his wife, Jackie, have been together for 33 years and remain active in their community of Colorado Springs, and he feels fortunate to be able to hike, bicycle, play golf and remain active.
Crouch is grateful for the foundational lessons learned at Davidson that allow him to provide a bequest for future Davidson students to begin their educational journey.