Number 33, August 18, 2015
Tyler Fair ’16 loves sports – all types – but he has no plans to build a career around them. He played the horn in the Brunswick High School band until he graduated in 2011 and also in the Coastal Youth Symphony [now known as the Golden Isles Youth Orchestra], but music isn’t his passion, either. He yearns to travel all over the world, but chose to stay in his hometown to go to college.
Fair has his sights set high and trusts God will put him on the path to follow. This summer, he said, he is experiencing amazing results.
“On campus, I’ve been focusing on the Baptist Collegiate Ministry,” Fair said. “I was president, but now I’m missions coordinator because I believe that’s where my heart is.” The former resident assistant also volunteers for Student Affairs.
He is pursuing a bachelor’s in public management in the criminal justice track and cites his grandfather, stepfather, and a former professor, now retired, as the men who inspired him.
“My mom raised three sons on her own until I was 12 years old. Her father – my grandfather – was a big influence on our family. He is a happy man who liked his work and helping people. I realized the importance of vocation – being called to your job – through him,” Fair explained. His grandfather is retired now: Captain Jack Hopper of the Glynn County Police Department.
He credited his stepfather with encouraging his involvement in church and with showing him how to do things boys typically learn from their fathers. “He loved me like his own.”
“Professor Larry Johnson helped me to see all the options I had here. Originally I had planned just to do my core courses at Coastal and then transfer,” Fair admitted. “But he truly expanded my vision of what I could be, using CCGA as my launching pad.” Johnson, also retired, was Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Business and Public Affairs at the time.
“Did I want to get into debt by taking out student loans? No. Did I want to risk paying big bucks for college but then flunk out? No. Staying here made good sense.”
Fair hasn’t looked back since making the commitment.
“My dream is to be head of security in an agency such as the FBI or CIA. I want to be active, in the field, doing something such as providing foreign diplomatic assistance,” he said. “I have a deep yearning to travel. When I was a kid, I dreamed of traveling the world to learn the different styles of martial arts. I guess something small became big to me.”
He envisions initially combining travel and his desire to help people through the Peace Corps or a two-year international mission trip as a Journeyman with the International Mission Board (IMB) Students organization.
In the meanwhile, he is combining his love for sports with the Children in Action (CIA) Sorts Club, a free summer camp for kids in Brunswick using sports to make a positive impact. “When a kid is successful in a game, it gives them a good feeling about themselves,” he noted, “and our encouragement and a hug might be the only hug some of these kids get that day.”
He is also volunteering at Morningstar Children and Family Services this summer and now hopes to set up a regular program of engagement between the College and Morningstar. “Again, sports are a way to engage the kids. They love dodgeball – they are terrific at it!”
Fair said he was grateful to have been in the youth orchestra with Maestro Luis Haza. “Here in Brunswick was this amazing, world-famous conductor and musician. And he was working with us! I not only learned new and different types of music, but I also learned to truly strive for excellence. This is what he encouraged us to do. What a powerful message.”
As a freshman in high school, he was a member of the horn section that started the horn flashes in the marching band – now a tradition.
“Arts are an important part of education. Music changes a person. You learn to focus. You direct your energy. Making music requires discipline, dedication and practice – important skills. And you’re making something yourself. Playing in a marching band or an orchestra requires real teamwork.” He concluded, “I channeled a lot of excess energy and frustration through my horn in high school!”