Issac J. "Ike" Bailey '95
Murrells Inlet, S.C.
Columnist and Senior Writer, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C., a member of the McClatchy Corporation
A.B. Davidson, 1995
Trained at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies
Member of the Davidson Journal Advisory Committee; author of Davidson Journal cover story on emerging role of diversity at the college; Alumni Award Recipient; led a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day race seminar; mentored possible future journalists; Alumni of Color Engagement
Three-year starter on football team; Ada Jenkins Center, mentor; Love of Learning, mentor and primary camp adviser; winner of the Wayne Cromwell Trendsetter Award; Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities; Davidsonian writer; Department of College Relations Fellow; Black Student Coalition
Spouse: Tracy Swinton Bailey
Children: Kyle Joshua Bailey, Lyric Grace Bailey
I graduated from Davidson in May of 1995 with a degree in psychology and an appreciation of the college, not a love of it. And I expected to do what a former roommate said he'd do-never return. It wasn't a feeling born of anger or even disappointment, just a disconnection. During the past 16 years, I've grown to love Davidson in ways I never imagined.
That transition convinced me to seek this position. It would be another way I can give back to an institution that gave me more than I initially realized.
In 1991, I arrived on Davidson's campus as a member of a fairly poor, black Southern family, hailing from a rural, public school that couldn't afford Advanced Placement and other such courses. On my first review in Psychology 101, I earned the worst grade in the class, which began a college career that was an uphill fight the entire four years-from the culture shock, to adjusting to the rigorous demands of classes, to finally making it through.
Looking back, what felt like an endless fight is what made it difficult for me to feel love for the place-but was also the thing that steeled me for the career I eventually undertook. I'm a journalist who tackles some of the most complex and emotionally taxing issues possible. And I would not have been able to do that successfully without having to struggle my way through Davidson, and without the help of many people who helped guide me through.
I want to continue helping students with their struggles, as I've been able to the past several years in various ways, as well as help alumni develop the love for the institution in the way I unexpectedly have.