Jim Farrar '59 has touched the lives of countless Gilmour students and alumni in his work. As head of Advancement, he helped plan Homecoming and holiday events, co-founded the Gilmour Academy Alumni Parents Association, and traveled the country connecting with alumni. His volunteering days, meanwhile, go back decades, to when he got out of the Army and helped launch Gilmour’s annual phone- a-thon. In the years since, he’s served as a Trustee, alumni director, development director and so much more.
Few alums have served Gilmour as fully as Jim Farrar has. He’s worked as a volunteer, a member of the Advancement team, and he’s now completing a special project for Heritage Hall in Gilmour’s Athletic Center.
Farrar has approached all his roles with grace, whether as director of alumni or a Gilmour parent. We wondered what has motivated him to work so steadfastly on Gilmour’s behalf for more than 50 years. His answer was simple. "I was fortunate enough to be given the gift of a Gilmour education," he says. "It’s always been satisfying for me to return some of my good fortune, with the hope that someone else will benefit from my efforts."
"People say they could never ask anyone for money,” Farrar says. “But when you believe in the mission of an organization, you do it with confidence and conviction. It truly is rewarding when you are successful."
Today, Farrar is spearheading a project that showcases images from Gilmour’s greatest achievements in Heritage Hall. As he does, he’s coming full circle, finding gratification in preserving the rich history of an Academy that has meant so much to him.
Yet it all pales in comparison to the pride he and Caroline, his wife of 50 years, have gotten from being Gilmour parents. "We loved being parents here, watching our kids (JP ’91, Mary Kate ’93, Dan ’94 and Amy ’96) study, enjoy learning and become class leaders," he says. "Now they’re successful as parents and leaders in their own rights. I have learned so much from them: honor, integrity, dedication. The values that Gilmour instilled in us are deeply embedded in us."