Embracing Versatility Through True Wesleyan Values
By Kariesha Martinez '19
Steve Humphrey '63: great father, successful lawyer, Eclectic brother and now Wesleyan Baseball Wall of Famer.
Born in Hempstead, New York, but raised in Westport, Connecticut, Humphrey is a true Connecticut native. He joins a large cohort of Westport natives who came to Wesleyan, as well.
After attending Westport's local high school, Humphrey was able to attend Wesleyan on a need-based scholarship. He definitely put his scholarship to good use.
To say Humphrey's time at Wesleyan was fruitful would be an understatement. On top of being an active participant in extracurricular activities, as well as being a brother of the then fraternity, Eclectic, Humphrey was also a three-season athlete. With three years of basketball and baseball and a year of football, Humphrey exemplifies the idea of the well-rounded Wesleyan student.
His true glory days came in his senior year, 1963, where he led the baseball team to a Little Three title. As the team's No. 1 pitcher, he carried the squad to an 11-3 record and ranked 10th in the nation with a 1.69 earned run average (ERA) over 41 innings. Humphrey also won the MacNaughten Award for excellence in baseball that year, and he certainly proved his excellence, as his senior year was one of the greatest seasons in Wesleyan baseball history.
Humphrey has a plethora of great memories from his time at Wesleyan. When asked about his favorite as an athlete, he couldn't choose just one. However, a time he remembers very vividly is the baseball team's trip to Florida. During his four years, the team had the amazing opportunity to go to Miami to play against schools like the University of Miami and Dade University. How the team was able to secure the funds for a trip of this size? Through true community and teamwork, they were able to fundraise the money. They opened up a booth at every home football game, selling whatever they could in order to raise enough to take the entire team, and they succeeded. The 10-day trip was unlike any other travel plans the team had. The adventure proved worth it when they won against the University of Miami. This kind of camaraderie and effort is another one of Humphrey's favorite things about going to Wesleyan.
Other than his stellar final baseball season, Humphrey also had a vibrant extracurricular background. Graduating with a degree in history, Humphrey was a part of Eclectic, one of Wesleyan's oldest fraternities at the time. Although the former fraternity has changed greatly since he was on campus, he still comes back and feels connected to his brotherhood. Humphrey notes that his liberal arts education was everything he could have asked for. It gave him the freedom to study anything he wished, regardless of whether it had anything to do with his major or not.
With extracurriculars and athletics, Wesleyan was able to prepare him for the next step in his journey: law school.
After graduating in 1963 with a BA in History, Humphrey went on to attend law school at Vanderbilt University. He notes that Wesleyan was the best thing for him when thinking about going to law school, and went on to say that the two biggest things that law school required of him were an ability to read and perform deductive reasoning. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he returned to Connecticut in 1966 working for the law firm, Robertson & Cole. He worked as an associate for five years and was then promoted to partner, where he stayed for 43 years. His position as a partner was very hands on. When he started in 1966, there were about ten lawyers and only one office in Hartford, but upon his retirement in 2014, there were about 250 lawyers and offices throughout the tri-state area. It's safe to say Humphrey definitely leaves a superb mark no matter the landscape.
Humphrey retired from his career as a successful partner in 2014 to lead a relaxing life in Napa, California. After his time at Wesleyan, he went on to have two children, a son, who lives in Denver, and a daughter, who also lives in Napa. His children and grandchildren frequent trips around the world.
Although his time at Wesleyan is over, he frequently streams games and has been paying close attention to the Cardinals since 1968. He keeps up and applauds the upward success of teams like volleyball, lacrosse, and football. If there's one thing Humphrey loved and still loves about Wesleyan, it's the connections and friendships he made. Spending three to four years with a team and fraternity allowed him to make lasting friendships that he still cherishes today. He felt a strong sense of community, especially with his teammates, "Everything I played were team sports with friends I still have today."
For Humphrey, his lasting relationships and interdisciplinary education was really a foundation for him going forward. Wesleyan was pleased and honored to induct Humphrey into the Wesleyan Baseball Wall of Fame in May 2018. With stellar numbers during his last season and a bright career path, Steve Humphrey makes it stupendously easy to be proud of Wesleyan and its alumni.