50th Reunion

The most important fact about my life is that I am an alcoholic. The most significant date is December 30, 1976. By December 29, 1976 I had destroyed two marriages, three law partnerships and alienated five children. On December 30, 1976 I went to Alcoholics Anonymous and I have not had a drink since that date. My life has improved dramatically in every way including spiritually, morally, physically and financially. My present marriage to Mary Lou is beautiful and my relationship with my five children and seven grandchildren is ideal.Nevertheless my drinking up until 1976 undoubtedly did monumental damage to myself and many others.

With the benefit of hindsight it is now clear that I was a practicing alcoholic by not later than the spring of our junior year in 1951. My drinking clearly adversely influenced my career at Amherst academically, athletically and socially. It is now well established that the tendency to alcoholism has a genetic basis. Both a genealogical profile and a psychological profile have been well documented and I fit both profiles perfectly.

My question for discussion at the reunion is "Should Amherst College have a program to identify and counsel potential alcoholics and other substance abusers among the student body?"

Family Information:

  • I am married for the third time to Mary Lou. Earlier marriages to Anne Dixon (Mt. Holyoke '53) produced three children, Jim, Brenda and Doug; Linda and Diane came from my second wife, Gail Thomas. There are seven grandchildren.

Career Path

  • After a stint in the USAF, I got my law degree from Stetson College Law. I was in the general practice of law in Tampa, either by myself or my partnerships, since 1956.

George Phillips