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It Started on the Gridiron

Guy WilsonGuy Wilson started out working part time in a grocery store to pay his high school tuition, and he retired as a managing partner in an international accounting firm. Wilson has given time, treasure and talent to many philanthropies and charities, and he has received many awards, including Loyola Marymount University's Distinguished Alumni Award and the papal medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, which is given for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy.

Wilson began his LMU affiliation back in 1948, when he graduated from Loyola High School with a football scholarship to Loyola University. “Without that scholarship, I might have gone to community college at best,” he says. He earned his scholarship money by knocking heads with great players like Gene Brito, Ernie Cheatham, Don Klosterman and Al Pollard. “I played center and linebacker, and, boy, I was beat up every day,” he remembers.

Junior year brought an unexpected turn: Wilson’s National Guard unit was activated for the Korean War. He went off to war -- but not before marrying his childhood sweetheart, Jeanette Henke. When his tour was up, he returned, ready for family, football and financial studies. But football had been canceled in the interim. And although he was benefiting from the GI Bill, he was working part time to support his family.

Posted Jan. 4, 2010