This story is part of Believing: The Campaign for Wellington. To learn more and to make a gift, visit. wellington.org/believing.
In his final year at Wellington, Alex Para ’03 did his senior project on sky diving. “It made us extremely nervous, and the school did not encourage it,” admits his mother, Caroline Whitacre, retired senior vice president for research at The Ohio State University. “But something about sky diving caught his fancy, and he researched it, jumped out of an airplane, and wrote about it. Fortunately, he did not go into that as a career,” she laughs.
And though it put his parents on edge, in some ways Alex’s senior project encapsulates what makes Wellington so special: the school allows students the freedom to explore what they’re curious about, side by side with faculty who take the time to get to know them and their interests.
Alex’s Wellington experience has served him well in life—preparing him for the rigors of college and imbuing him with leadership skills gained through activities like sports. “Wellington is a small enough school that every kid can play a sport if they want, which is important not only because it gives you physical exercise and keeps you from getting into mischief, but it teaches the importance of teamwork,” says his father Michael, semi-retired from his career as an AIDS doctor at Ohio State. “Alex loved soccer and eventually got to be captain of the team. That kind of experience as a leader is important.”
We both feel that it's important to give back, and we're particularly excited about the new addition that the Believing Campaign will mean for Wellington.
Much like sky diving, Wellington prepared Alex to embrace the unknown. The young man who studied environmental management in college today works in the burgeoning field of data warehousing. His cutting-edge career has taken him between the corporate and start-up worlds, where he has developed a reputation as an innovator.
His ever-proud parents continue to champion the school that helped shape their son into the man he is today. That means giving to Wellington through the Believing Campaign.
“We both feel that it’s important to give back, and we’re particularly excited about the new addition that the Believing Campaign will mean for Wellington,” says Caroline. “At Ohio State, I’ve seen how a new structure has huge ripple effects on people. The new environment at Wellington will permit even greater faculty innovation, which will transfer to students and allow them to have an even greater learning experience.”
Do you believe in Wellington? Join the Para/Whitacre family in making a gift to the Believing campaign today. Learn more at wellington.org/believing.