Paying it back
Virginia Bauer P’03 ’05
“As a parent, you provide your children with all the right tools they can use to be successful in life. Peddie helped us reach that mark, and more so. And on a personal and emotional level, it really stood by us when we needed it the most.”
Ginny Bauer and her family have lived through tragedy and come out intact on the other side. And for playing a crucial role in helping to manage the fragile process in between, she credits Peddie.
On September 11, 2001, her husband and sons’ father, David Bauer, was killed in the World Trade Center terror attacks.
“The boys were boarders. Stevie was a freshman and David, who was a junior, had been there for football practice,” Ginny said. “The worst day of our lives was that day.
“What do I do? Do I bring my children home with me? In many ways, it would have been comforting to me, to be with them,” she said. “I could have easily sent them to a local high school and had them home every day. But they felt very strongly that they wanted to go back to Peddie. I saw that for them, Peddie was the best place.”
At home, Ginny began advocating in earnest for families of victims of the September 11 attacks. In the effort to obtain federal tax relief for them, she testified before Congress and met with President George W. Bush.
"Peddie rallies around those who need it the most, and they're there for them, and they never really let go of your hand." Ginny Bauer P '03 '05
In Hightstown, the boys were supported by the Peddie community with a balance of love and benign distance that Ginny recalls with gratitude.
“I remember having many conversations with Sandy Tattersall, dean of students — he was so terrific in assuring me that the boys were fine — and John Green, in his first year as head of school,” Ginny said. “All the coaches kept an extra eye on them to make sure they were where they should be. I was grateful for that; I felt like the whole community was keeping a careful eye on them, without making them feel uncomfortable.”
The Bauer family’s Peddie experience motivated Ginny to join the board of trustees in 2016. It also inspired her steady leadership giving to The Peddie Fund and the endowment.
“I never forget the people who were good to me and to my family,” she said. “I put my sons in the hands of the Peddie community to give them the comfort and support they needed to get through a tough time in their lives.
“This is just what Peddie does,” she said. “They rally around those who need it the most, and they’re there for them, and they never really let go of your hand. And with that kind of support and with the support of the alumni and others who know the school, I think they recognize they’re really investing in the best of the future of this country, and that’s what we need to do. And what you do is, you pay it back.”