Alumnus Gary T. Moss, Jr. ’99 knows the value of a Lees-McRae education. Now a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner in Boone, and father of two children with a third due any day, Moss remembers the time he spent at Lees-McRae fondly, and believes in giving back to his alma mater.
“Lees-McRae College is truly a place like no other. The students, faculty, staff, and community welcome newcomers with open arms. Whether visiting the campus for the first time or returning for a long awaited reunion, you will experience the warm and friendly atmosphere,” said Moss. “Lees-McRae College is a place built on friendships and relationships that last a lifetime.”
Moss believes it is important to recognize when presented an opportunity. “Lees-McRae afforded me the opportunities of both an education and life experience. As a father of two, and soon three, I have come to understand the importance of giving back. I’d like to share my knowledge and experience so that other students may have similar opportunities.”
When asked about the advice he would share with Lees-McRae students now, Moss responded with three wise suggestions. “First, have fun! You will look back one day and see how fast this time of your life goes by.”
“Second would be to remember your roots,” Moss said. “Never forget where you started and appreciate the journey you travel each day. Lastly, take advantage of every opportunity. Some will present themselves clearly and instantly; others may appear in a challenge. Like Albert Einstein said, ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’”
“Each student has a gift, a gift that should not be wasted. Be it academics, athletics, arts, business, etc., apply your gift to the opportunity presented while at Lees-McRae, for these will become the building blocks of your future,” said Moss.
From orientation to graduation, a Lees-McRae experience is filled with unique and fun memories. Many of those memories Moss attributes to the small-town atmosphere he grew to love as a Lees-McRae student and Banner Elk resident. “The community, the people and the beautiful mountain setting gave me so much enjoyment. Many memorable days were spent skiing, hiking and biking,” Moss remembers. “As an alumnus, it makes me proud to see the efforts that Lees-McRae has made to include the town and its surroundings into the curriculum.”
As an Ameriprise CFP® Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, Moss now helps individuals reach their financial goals through a personal relationship based on personalized, knowledgeable financial advice. Along with his involvement with Lees-McRae College, Moss is active in Meals on Wheels, the Watauga Leadership Challenge, Boone Chamber of Commerce and he’s a board member of the Watauga County Chapter of the Red Cross.
He attributes much of his success to his Lees-McRae education, particularly professors in the business division who brought real world experiences to the classroom. “As a business owner, I am able to utilize and appreciate the lessons they taught me that are now proving to be invaluable.”