Robert Watts Jr., 1973
Robert Watts, Jr. came to Vermont Academy from the Bronx in 1969. He arrived in the fall as a freshman in the Class of 1973 and immediately made a tremendous impact as a three-season athlete in football, basketball, and track. Robert went on to be named an All-American in football at Boston College and was drafted in the third round by the New Orleans Saints in 1976. He also played for the Oakland Raiders and the Toronto Argonauts before an injury ended his career.
Watts holds a bachelors degree in Speech and Communication from Boston College, a Masters Degree in Speech and Communication from San Francisco State University and a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Psychology from the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, Alliant International University.
When you speak to Robert about his life or time at Vermont Academy, he is not nearly as interested in talking about his athletic prowess, choosing rather to focus on his academic work and his writing. Even though Robert was substantially behind in reading and writing skills when he arrived, he began his career as a writer here at Vermont Academy when he tried his hand as a poet.
He published a number of poems at VA, as well as in the New Orleans Saints Press Guide, the New Orleans Time Picayune, and San Francisco Magazine. In 1998, Robert published his first book entitled, People Are Never The Problem. That book explores the philosophy that “people are not the problem, but people do have problems. If we can help them solve their problems, we also remove the obstacles in the way of our own goals and help us succeed.” He goes on to say that, “just as people are necessary to our success, they can never be the excuse for our failure.” Robert is the Founder, President and Chief Solutions Officer for Watts and Associates, a consulting firm that focuses on organizational development and executive coaching and training. Their company’s mission is enviable: “Achieving Success Through People.”
Robert has garnered myriad accomplishments and accolades, but he is most proud of being a cancer survivor and father to three very wonderful children. He has touched people’s lives with his story of triumph over life’s greatest challenges, and his gift as an orator leaves many, who hear him speak, profoundly affected. He has spoken to the Vermont Academy community several times, and we truly hope to hear more from him in years to come!