[ Trustee Profile ] Royall M. Mack Sr. Cultivating the Future Workforce With his acre of farmland responsibility, Mack took to tilling his soil. He entered high school, started playing basketball, and then turned his hoop dreams toward college. n 1960, when Royall M. Mack Sr. turned 13, he was invited to join his grandfather, father and uncles in the parlor of their West Point, Va., home for a Sunday afternoon meeting, a recurring event that had previously been off-limits to Mack as a lad. surprised to find himself in a different kind of farm system, this time playing ball in Des Moines, Iowa. After one year in the Royals’ farm system, he accepted a job offer from Boston-based Liberty Mutual insurance company. He moved to Dorchester, and soon got an offer to work for the Gillette company, via a friendship he struck up with a Gillette manager he played pick-up basketball games alongside. His assignment at Gillette forced his relocation to Fort Wayne, Ind. Over the next 20 years, Mack’s career path at Gillette would take him not only all over the United States, but the world. I Mack always wondered what went on in that parlor, where his grandfather, an unlit cigar chomped between his teeth, would hold private meetings. Mack found out when, on his 13th birthday, he was awarded one acre of the family’s 150acre farm in the south pasture, some hand-me-down farm equipment, and $200 to buy seed with an edict: show a $1,000 return on the investment. He was to report back on the progress of the tract of land at every Sunday meeting thereafter. Awarding of the acre was considered a rite of passage, and by Mack’s grandfather, an investment in the future. Now decades later, as newly appointed Chairman of the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees, Mack feels an obligation to pay his grandfather’s investment forward, by investing in the lives of the students at Middlesex. It is a responsibility Mack takes seriously, and one he feels prepared for, due in great part to his storied upbringing. Mack attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C., because the basketball scout there saw Mack could be “Our students have an average to take advantage of basketball player, but a better the wonderful student, an opportunities that approach Mack’s lie ahead of them. father, Ernest, endorsed. Their future is now He wanted to study biology, and eyed a career in medicine, due to his time spent helping the town veterinarian take care of animals. Mack introduced the PARTS selling system to the company – PreApproach to a sale, Approach with the pitch, Reasons to buy, Treating objections to the buy, and Summary. That tactic fastWhile at college, tracked Mack into Royall M. Mack Sr., Chairman Mack played management, and he basketball rocketed through the against some of ranks. He married his the greats, like Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, girlfriend Valerie, whom he had met Walt Frazier and Charlie Scott, and while working at Liberty Mutual. The quickly realized the scout and his father couple continued travelling across the were right – he would only be an average United States, ending up in Brooklyn basketball player. So, he shifted his Park, Minn. attention to baseball. After graduating in Eventually, he became Senior Vice1969 with a double major in biology and President at Gillette, and returned to political science, he was drafted by the Massachusetts, settling in Andover, and Kansas City Royals to play first base. now the father of five – Hans, Deadre, With a $10,000 signing bonus, Mack Robyn, Royall Jr., and Rashida. figured his career path was set, so he was and tomorrow, and it’s our job as trustees and leaders of this college to help make sure they get there successfully.” [4] Profiles