Meet James, Class of 1962
Meet James, Class of 1962: “To your current students, the memories of your ASH experience will last a lifetime. Treasure them!” James attended ASH from grades 5 - 12 during the years when the school was located in The Hague. James will soon be sharing his action-packed educational and career journey with our grade 11 students, for our upcoming alumni experience panels.
What is the general framework of when you were at ASH and what was your ASH experience like?
I was at ASH from grades 5-12, and graduated in the Class of 1962. There were 22 graduates in my class. During my high school years I was Junior Class Representative to Student Council, Treasurer for the Student council, and was in the yearbook club, motor club and drama club. It was a very extraordinary time in the Netherlands. Schooling coincided with events occurring in Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was a “living” history lesson!
Are there any standout moments or people from your ASH experience?
Mrs. Boerma taught advanced math. There were two of us in the class. When Tom Hamblin was absent, it was me and Mrs. Boerma for a very long hour and a half.
What words can you share about meaningful learning, to our current students?
The memories of your ASH experience will last a lifetime. Treasure them!
Where are you today and what are you pursuing?
I’ve had a very unexpected and full educational and career journey. I went to George Washington University and studied International Relations, then joined the Air Force AFROTC and became a pilot. After flying in Vietnam I became an airline pilot for Delta Airlines and flew with them for 29 years. I was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall Of Fame, this video is a good biographical sketch of my life. Nearing retirement, I decided to go back to school, Auburn University, and earn a PhD in history. Returning to school was never something I anticipated, but my attitude changed when I turned a hobby into an avocation.
My life lessons are to chart your own path, you need to be flexible and patient, build on your earlier experiences but expect no favors...they may come, but don't count on it! I am very proud that now after researching and working on a manuscript as a hobby, PhD, writing and rewriting it, for nearly 30 years my book will be released in the Fall. "Speed, Safety, and Comfort: The Origins of Delta Air Lines" is being published by Louisiana State University (LSU) Press. It explains how this amazing world airline began when the boll weevil crossed into Texas from Mexico and set in motion a series of events that are Delta's founding. My life has been filled with opportunities and yours will be too; the key is to recognize them, know yourself and your capabilities, expect setbacks but reassess, and always persevere and you will have wonderful and fulfilling lives!


We have a diverse community of students, staff, and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own story that enriches the #ASHexperience.