September 16, 2005
The tales of former Hoya baseball catcher Tom Walter, B'91 from the 2005-06 school year may someday find its way into his own published memoirs, but it will read more like several books from Homer's Odyssey than the typical sports retrospective. That's because Tom is the second-year baseball coach of the University of New Orleans Privateers (and formerly head coach of the George Washington nine for eight years.)
Tom's tale of getting through Hurricane Katrina has already been a life-altering experience. He and his family and his baseball team all got out of NO in time. While two-thirds of the campus was unaffected by the flooding, his house went under water. Everything was lost but for some key family records and a weekend's worth of clothes.
Fortunately, in a remarkable response to his situation, many people offered to help.
His wife and children are now staying with her family in Michigan. New Mexico State University has taken in Tom and his team. There, they have enrolled in classes and will continue to compete as a team, hoping to get back to their own campus for the spring season.
Despite the uncertainty of what the future will bring, Tom remains positive. His words from a message earlier this week are inspiring:
". . . the hundreds of calls, text messages etc. that I have received amaze me. I love the fact that I am an American. I love the fact that I have a wonderful family. I love the fact that I have awesome friends. I am in awe of everyone's "character." The people of New Mexico and NMSU have been awesome and have bent over backwards to give us a new home. All in all, I cannot imagine being in a better situation for the team then we are in right now."
Godspeed to you, Tom.