The latest addition to our series of Alumni Council Q&As features Council member David Baily ('98).
Q: When did you graduate from Waynesburg University, and what was your major?
A: I graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (essentially pre-med with some business, computer science, and Spanish mixed in).
Q: Where has life taken you since graduating from Waynesburg University?
A: After getting married with one semester left in school, my wife, Jennifer (Williams) Baily, and I found an opportunity to work together with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) at Carnegie Mellon and with Eastminster Presbyterian Church. (The CCO is college ministry based in Pittsburgh.) We were able to embody WU’s mission with youth and college students and were fortunate to see some dramatic positive changes in the East End of Pittsburgh. After coming back to work for my father, Chuck Baily Jr., at Baily Insurance Agency and then helping to merge with Gooder Agency in Ligonier, we moved back to Waynesburg in 2009 when my dad was ready to retire. We love opening our home (and pool) to students to allow them a little escape from the grind of schoolwork.
Q: What is your current job/title, and what is your current location?
A: As CEO/President of Baily Insurance, in Waynesburg and Ligonier, I have the privilege of serving clients throughout the region by providing a unique approach to business insurance, risk management, and employee benefits. We emphasize transparency and exceptional resources to focus on helping businesses get the absolute best value for their bottom line without compromising benefits for their employees.
Q: Can you describe your typical day?
A: In the wake of working for the CCO where I tried to help students have a vision that every sphere of life can be impacted for God’s glory, I have tried to focus on helping build a business that honors and glorifies God in how we care for our clients and staff and insurance company partners. So each morning, I wake up and try to use my time to positively impact each of those groups of people, as well as the community, to imitate Jesus by loving and serving sacrificially as Jesus has served me. I won’t pretend to be perfect in that calling, but I try to address distractions and conflicts of interest so that I do “honor God with my work” as our mission statement declares. It is an extremely high bar, which helps keep us humble and driven to be better.
Q: Can you describe your time as a student at Waynesburg and how it shaped you as a person?
A: It was an awesome privilege to have so many people pour into me, mentor me, shape me. This came from faculty and other students, obviously, but it even came from staff and leadership who took the time to know me and help me grow as a young man and in my relationship with God. There is a lot of maturing and developing of habits that will ultimately shape us for the rest of our lives during our college years.
Interestingly, WU has really helped shape every season of my life: infant, “townie,” student. And each of those could be elaborated on further, too.
Q: What is your favorite memory as a Waynesburg student?
A: Meeting my wife. It is pretty hard to top the memory of proposing to my wife, then Jennifer Williams and Resident Director, in Denny Hall. I know, probably not the most romantic, but here we are 26 years later, and it has worked out… so far! Granted, being a resident of Denny Hall for a semester was a little awkward after we were married and trying to navigate without an escort!
Q: Who was your favorite professor at Waynesburg, and why?
A: Dr. Giles’ passion for the subject and for the science/art of medicine was contagious.
Q: Why is staying connected with your alma mater important to you?
A: In a world that is largely adrift without moorings, the mission at WU matters now more than ever. Students, our future leaders, need to be connected to a bigger purpose and vision of building the Kingdom of God, not just focused on getting good grades and landing a high-paying job. And when I interact with WU students and fellow grads, I see how weaving together faith, learning and serving equips them to advance that mission.
Q: What does your role as an Alumni Council member entail, and what motivates you to give back to the University in this way?
A: It helps me to stay connected to the students and alums who are furthering that mission. It allows me to give back just a little bit of what was poured into me.
The mentorship program [being piloted through the new Purpose & Leadership Academy] is an amazing opportunity to help shape and encourage the next generation.
Q: What advice do you have for current students? For recent graduates?
A: Relationships are eternal. Pour into and receive from as many people as you can. College is such a unique season where you can grow and be transformed in so many ways, not to mention the lasting relationship with students, faculty and staff that are forged in this very unique crucible of a college campus.
Also, today, technology can be a huge black hole for time and energy, and we have this small window to live in community. Don’t miss out on this tremendous opportunity! [That opportunity is] near impossible to recreate once you graduate, get married and start a family, which are, of course, awesome gifts, as well.