I was so impressed with the students you have who work, have kids and are completing their education in an environment that is welcoming.
Having excelled in their respective professions, new members of Bridgewater State University’s Board of Trustees, lawyer Walter Prince and photojournalist Francis Giles, are eager to help students find their own success.
The two were recently sworn in after being appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker.
A Lesson in Determination
When he toured campus with President Frederick W. Clark Jr., Giles appreciated the tenacity he saw on display.
“I was so impressed with the students you have who work, have kids and are completing their education in an environment that is welcoming,” he said.
Giles’ story is similarly rooted in tenacity. The high school dropout never gave up on education, earning his undergraduate degree over many years and studying at the graduate level at MIT under renowned photographer Minor White.
He was an Army paratrooper in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam in the 1960s. A veteran photojournalist, he covered the 1973 Yom Kippur War in Israel, Syria, and Egypt; wrote for The Washington Post; and served as editorial director for radio station WEEI.
Giles, who was the first Black reporter at the suburban Chicago Evanston Review, praised students for being “fearless” in their pursuit of racial justice.
Giles is no stranger to working in higher education, having taught photography at several universities, and served as a trustee of Burlington College. He said his teaching philosophy is “to open doors and windows for students.”
An Eagle Scout and longtime Boy Scouts leader, Giles’ service to BSU is one more way he will assist young people.
“It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime to be a volunteer,” he said.
Public higher education is “essential and important,” said Prince, a partner at the Boston legal firm Prince Lobel Tye.
“Not everyone has been able to go to a private college or university,” he said. “Everyone has potential and capability. That’s where public higher education can play a role in helping people grow and excel. I’m an example of that.”
Prince studied history and education at Boston State College, which later merged with the University of Massachusetts Boston. He met inspiring professors who encouraged him to reach for his dreams. As a junior, he decided to attend law school and ultimately earned his Juris Doctor from Boston College.
Prince has more than three decades of experience in transportation, commercial law, and civil and white-collar criminal litigation. He’s worked as a prosecutor and defense attorney, conducted internal investigations for Fortune 500 companies, served as the MBTA’s general counsel, and participated in committees that recommended and reviewed candidates for judgeships.
“I’ve always been involved in public service,” Prince said. “I’ve enjoyed it and I look forward to doing it again here at Bridgewater State.”
Now, Prince can help BSU support students and fight for racial justice.
“That’s something I’ve championed and something I will always support – giving opportunity to people, especially young people of color,” he said.
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