Davidson Day School celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Latta Baucom on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in addition to honoring all veterans in the Lake Norman community. The school dedicated the flagpole, a new American flag, and a new seating area and patio in honor of Dr. Baucom, who passed away on July 28, 2019, after a three-year fight against liver cancer.
The ceremony included the entire student body, with all students from two years old through twelfth grade, celebrating and honoring Dr. Baucom and the more than three dozen veterans who were honored guests.
During the ceremony, Interim Head of School Mr. Wes Wehunt unveiled a memorial stone with an inlaid inscription:
In memorializing and celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Baucom, Carrie Lott, Director of Marketing and Communications recounted how dedicated and involved Dr. Baucom was in the entire school community. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Baucom led a nearly two-year process clarifying the school’s core values and mission as the school celebrated its 20th year educating Lake Norman’s students.
“As it turns out, the core values of Davidson Day, the values that make us distinctive, closely parallel the values held by Dr. Baucom,” said Mrs. Lott, “And these values—meaningful connections, secure and supportive learning environment, enriching experiences for all students, and integrity—will live on at Davidson Day as a part of his legacy.”
In addition to more than three dozen local veterans who attended the Veterans Day Celebration at Davidson Day School, Dr. Baucom’s wife, Gina, and two of their children, Abby and Joel, were honored at the ceremony.
Mr. Charlie Petrizzo, founder of Davidson Day’s 2019–2020 Community Service Partner Project2Heal, addressed the students, faculty, and honored guests, and shared how their organization supports veterans through a comprehensive service dog breeding and training program that partners with veterans organizations to provide service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mr. Petrizzo then announced the donation of a trained service dog in honor of Dr. Baucom to a local nonprofit, Continuing the Mission. The twelve-week old black Labrador, named Deacon by the Baucom family in honor of Dr. Baucom’s alma mater, Wake Forest University, will complete training with Project2Heal and then be matched with a veteran in need of a service animal.
“Latta made an indelible mark on our entire school community—his steady, confident leadership, his integrity, his focus on building a thriving educational community, and his warmth and love of our students, faculty, staff, and families will be his legacy,” said Reneé Brown, Chair of the Davidson Day School Board of Trustees.