Jim Whitters '62


It is no secret that sports hold a special place in the heart of Jim Whitters’62. After all, not every man is informed enough to talk about different sports across the board, at every level, from the Boston Red Sox bullpen to the Swampscott High School football team’s offense.

Without the Internet as his aid, he can give you a breakdown of the 2008 University of Massachusetts hockey team, or the 1915 Brown University football team that played in the Rose Bowl. He knows that Trinity, which went undefeated in 1915, beat that same Brown team. After studying American history as an undergraduate at Trinity, Whitters can talk about the Battle of Gettysburg. He’ll also tell you that its field abuts the campus of a small Div. III Pennsylvania school, Gettysburg College, that has an excellent lacrosse program.

“I was a neighborhood kid that loved sports, particularly Boston sports,” the Massachusetts native said.

Whitters reads the Boston Globe top to bottom every day and absorbs sports facts and stats like a mop in a Fenway Park bathroom. But as much as the die-hard New England sports fan can tell you about Sox legend Ted Williams, or Celtics great Bob Cousy, he can also tell you about Trinity sports history, integrating figures as recent as today.

“How many times did [current Trinity QB Eric] McGrath throw the ball last game? Was it 54?” he asked after McGrath made a record 57 throwing attempts for 470 yards against Bates this season. “You know I called my good friend and told him that, and he said, 'My goodness how the game has changed!'"

Whitters, an offensive and defensive lineman under Coach Dan Jessee in his undergraduate days, said there was a much greater focus on the running game back then. And he can cite several years prior to his time at Trinity when that was the case as well.

As a player, Whitters remembers the rivalry with Wesleyan being much stronger than it is today. He’ll give some local color on that rivalry, noting that he participated in the only tie in the history of that series, which he recalls as “an epic game.”

A man who followed the Bantams baseball championship run as closely as he watched his beloved Red Sox push for another World Series title this postseason, Whitters has seen his teams across New England set unprecedented expectations of success. But winning is not what makes Whitters proud about his alma matter.

“We’re not as interested in winning as we are about developing winners,” he said about Trinity athletes. “These are people we can be proud of.”

And Whitters doesn’t just talk the talk. He started a career services frogram with the support of current head coach, Jeff Devanney. The program is an annual forum and banquet with other professional alumni, intended to provide direction and networking opportunities that often result in internships or long-term jobs for players.

“It was Jim’s vision to create an event that would bring together Trinity football’s past with its present when we originally held our first event three years ago,” Devanney said. “Now we hold a couple of events a year to bring our current players into personal contact with professionals from all different fields who at one time played football at Trinity College. Our players benefit immensely as many have found jobs and internships directly from these events. Jim spends a lot of time organizing this program, which has helped a number of our players.”

Whitters' time and dedication to Trinity sports is notable, especially given his other responsibilities. He is the president of The Alkalol Company, a nasal irrigation pharmaceutical that his grandfather developed in 1986. He teaches American legal history at Suffolk University in Boston, which he has done for 12 years, he was a trustee at Trinity for 12 years, and he is heavily active in law and politics, practicing at two different law firms, including 25 years spent at Gaston & Snow before taking over The Alkalol Company.

Whitters says he will always remember Trinity, and Trinity football, for how it’s helped shape his career path.

“You learn how to win and you learn how to lose,” he said. “Life has its peaks and valleys. It’s important to learn how to lose.”

It is Whitters' hope that Trinity continues to win, but more importantly, that it continues to produce graduates that leave the College as winning individuals.