Since 1988, our mission at Welch Hornsby has been unwavering. Provide uncompromising commitment to build and preserve the wealth of individuals, families, and institutions. It’s more than our philosophy. It’s our life. We are bound by the belief that the most significant investment we can make is the investment in a life of uncompromising commitment. Throughout history, many men and women have made that belief their guiding principle. Their mantra. They voiced opposition when the majority was wrong. They stayed later, worked harder, and ran faster. They imposed self-discipline, tapped into deeper energies, and ignored all distractions until they reached their goals. They saw what was right, pointed their feet in that direction, and walked. Some earned universal fame and recognition for their contributions. Some slipped beneath the public’s gaze. All showed what happens when one commits without compromise. Those men and women inspire us. This website chronicles their stories.
Once when Georgia was asked about her past life and about her present life living in the New Mexico desert, she simply stated her ideology of life. “Where I was born and where and how I live is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.” This was Georgia O’Keeffe. A determined and committed artist from the age of 10 when she first knew her calling in life, until the day she died at 98 where she still created art although her sight was gone. A commitment to her craft was a lifelong endeavor for Georgia O’Keeffe. Few American artists of the 20th century have made such a visual impact on the American landscape. But it is her portraits of nature that is most rightfully known.
Georgia O’Keeffe was as much a naturalist as an artist and no place was more her studio than the New Mexico desert, a place she lived in and painted for over 67 years. It was in the desert that she became fully alive. It was the contrast of beauty and harshness that perhaps brought out her talent and determination. She painted outdoors most of the time, and at times the wind was so strong when she painted that she had trouble keeping her canvas on the easel. Sometimes the heat from the sun became so intense, she hid under her car for shade.
In a field dominated by men, O’Keeffe was a rising star for women. In 1943, her one-woman show at the Museum of Modern Art was the first retrospective ever held for a woman at MOMA.
Georgia O’Keeffe was committed to her work and to her country. She stated her commitment in her usual poignant way. “One cannot be an American by going around saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel American, to like America, to love America, then work.” And work she did, with commitment and without compromise.
Hers was an investment in a life of uncompromising commitment.
Theodore Roosevelt was born a sickly child to a wealthy New York family. After many years Theodore overcame illness, molding his life’s motto, “A life of strenuous endeavor.” Roosevelt was known for his effervescent personality along with many interests ranging from writing to politics to hunting, all of which contributed to his notoriety.
Roosevelt became the youngest president in U.S. history at the age of 42. During his presidency he won the Nobel Peace Prize for successfully mediating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. The prize was the first of its kind to be awarded to an American, and the first to ever be given to a sitting president.
Roosevelt’s accomplishments and sheer ebullience for life are vast and repeatedly documented throughout history. While campaigning in 1912, Roosevelt was shot in the chest. The bullet first passed through his steel eyeglass case and then his folded 50-page speech he was carrying in his jacket pocket. Against the urging of his advisors, he proceeded to give a 90-minute speech. His initial comment to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose,” is just one illustration of the passionate commitment he gave to every aspect of his life.
“Teddy,” a nickname Roosevelt arduously disliked and often said so to the press, stuck nonetheless. A story told about Roosevelt ordering the compassionate death of an injured black bear led a toymaker to ask permission to use Mr. Roosevelt’s name for his toy bear. Mr. Roosevelt approved, and thus the iconic teddy bear was born.
Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep in January of 1919. Thomas R. Marshall, the then Vice President said of his death, “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”
His was an investment in a life of uncompromising commitment.
On November 11, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama will commemorate its 65th year of observing Veterans Day with the oldest and largest celebration in the country. Birmingham native, Raymond Weeks, was the “driving force” leading to the milestone observance of this national holiday.
Raymond Weeks, dubbed the “Father of Veterans Day,” exemplified selfless service to his country through volunteerism. In 1945, upon returning from WWII to his home in Birmingham, Alabama, he envisioned a national holiday honoring veterans of all wars. In 1946, his passionate pursuit led him to personally deliver his petition for “National Veterans Day 1947” to then Army Chief of Staff, General Dwight Eisenhower, who fully supported Weeks’ mission.
Because of Raymond Weeks’ unrelenting commitment to honor those who bravely served the United States during times of war, the first national Veterans Day event was held in 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama. Weeks was masterful with the media as newspapers from Washington, D.C. and other cities covered the proceedings. Eisenhower sent his “top man,” General Omar Bradley, to serve as the keynote speaker of the inaugural national event. Veterans Day officially became a federal holiday in 1954.
On November 11, 1982, President Ronald Reagan presented the Presidential Citizens Medal to Weeks. The President described Weeks as a person who “…devoted his life to serving others, his community, the American veteran, and his nation.”
Raymond Weeks served his community as the Director of the National Veterans Day Celebration for 38 years.
His was an investment in a life of uncompromising commitment.