Featured speaker at this weekend’s Anacortes High School All-Class Reunion will be Jack Babcock, a member of the first class to graduate from Anacortes Senior High in 1932.
As a boy, Babcock earned money by delivering newspapers, working at Mr. Snyder's drugstore, raising rabbits, picking apples in Eastern Washington, and cutting Christmas trees. He used some of the money he earned to buy a Model T Ford when he was only 12. He was also a Boy Scout and enjoyed camping in the San Juan Islands. When not working or studying, he acted in school plays and played saxophone in the Anacortes High School band. After high school, he worked for a year at a sawmill and a fish cannery in Anacortes to save up money for college tuition.
Babcock worked his way through the University of Washington in Seattle while training as a pre-med student at Harbor View Hospital. After earning a degree in pharmacy, he joined the Army in 1937, and began a 31-year military career that took him to many countries in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, as well as several military posts in the United States.
During his Army career he also earned a Ph.D. in international affairs at Georgetown University. After retiring as a Brigadier General, he worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the time of the Apollo program to put a man on the moon. He later worked for General Dynamics Corporation as Director of International Relations for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Babcock then returned to the academic world to teach international business policy at Georgetown University for 10 years. While there, he founded the Georgetown at Oxford program to make it possible for American students to learn about business practices in England and on the European continent.
Babcock and his wife Judith raised five children and helped to raise six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In his retirement, he has devoted many hours to raising money for Georgetown University, the Mental Health Association of Alexandria, Virginia, the Art League of Northern Virginia, and the Association of the U.S. Army -- an organization devoted to helping non-commissioned officers and their families.
The AHS All-Class Reunion, initiated in 2006 in honor of the high school’s centennial, is sponsored by the Anacortes Schools Foundation. The reunion will be held at Anacortes High School Cafeteria, 1-4 p.m. on August 2, a date purposefully scheduled to take advantage of the fact that many alums come home for the annual Arts Festival. For more information, call 299-4542.