W.O Edwards '71

Retired Information Systems Consultant

By Suzanne Guillette MFA '05, Photo by Cooper Photography

W.O. Edwards

then Entered Sarah Lawrence after three years in the Army on active duty, from 1966 to 1969, as part of the College’s initiative to enroll veterans.

now Sarah Lawrence’s individualized attention—in particular, how the College supported him during a six-month process to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs—made a lasting impression.

then Became the College’s first male instructor in the physical education department (fencing).

“Sarah Lawrence worked closely with me to make school possible. I got accustomed to this, and only when I went to grad school at a larger institution did I realize that this personal touch wasn’t universal.”

now Recently attempted to pick up fencing again and pulled his Achilles tendon, leading him to think, Maybe it’s not time for a comeback.

then Read voraciously in Marianne Lester’s psychology class.

now Devours military science fiction books by David Drake, a Vietnam veteran, and David Weber.

then Discussed The New York Times regularly as part of a political science course with Ivan Nagy.

now Starts his mornings with The Wall Street Journal and The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the local paper in Ormond Park, Florida, where he lives with his wife Hazel.

then Learned how to ask critical questions about current events—Therefore, what is the consequence?—after Nagy led a discussion about Pakistan’s decision not to send aid to flood victims in Bangladesh and correctly predicted that war would soon follow.

now Thinking about the “therefore” aspect of situations has helped him immensely in other areas, including his consulting work with startups and as a parent to his son, who’s now 30.

then Gave consistently—a couple hundred dollars a year—until Trustee Clarion Johnson ’72, his friend and first-year roommate, said to him, “You know, you could do better than that.”

now Gives generously to The Fund for Sarah Lawrence every year, most recently in 2015.