Ron Fox ’74 graduated Magna cum Laude from Washington University with a B.S. in Psychology and then earned his J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law in 1981. After law school, he clerked for Missouri Supreme Court Judge A.J. Higgins. From there, Ron began his career as a trial lawyer, defending doctors, hospitals, product manufacturers, railroads, and other companies. Around 1987, he began to generate clients in the Inland River Maritime Field. He has specialized as a maritime defense lawyer for over 30 years. He is a Proctor in the Maritime Law Association of the United States, has been recognized as Best Maritime Lawyers in Missouri, and was recently recognized as an ICON of the Missouri Legal Community. Ron has led his own law firm of 15 lawyers for over 20 years. He has been a speaker at numerous national seminars on the topics of trial techniques and maritime law issues. At Whitfield, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1994-2000 and joined the Board again in 2020. He was appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees in July 2021, serving as the first alumnus Board Chair. Three of Ron’s children are Whitfield graduates: Jay Fox ‘01, Liz Fox Philbrick ‘03, and Annie Fox Bardon ‘07. His son Nathan is currently a sophomore at Whitfield.
How did Whitfield prepare you for college and beyond?
Whitfield was instrumental in giving me confidence in academics and as a leader and public speaker. I am most grateful for the leadership opportunities Whitfield provided me. I was president of my class in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. During my senior year, I was co-captain of the soccer team and editor of the yearbook. I was the speaker for my class at our graduation. In the classroom, Whitfield truly refined my critical thinking, oration, and consensus-building skills. When I started at Whitfield I never thought I would be a National Merit Scholar, but my teachers enabled me to achieve this.
What are you most thankful for from your Whitfield experience, both in and outside of the classroom?
I am grateful for what Whitfield has done for me and my family. Whitfield is a place where my kids and I learned confidence, and we each found our own voice. I am inspired by the faculty, staff, and administrators at Whitfield. Now, as Board Chair, I have the opportunity to give back; to help ensure Whitfield’s future is bright. This is really not work for me because I enjoy sharing stories of Whitfield’s history, successes, and the wonderful people who make Whitfield what it is today. I enjoy describing why Whitfield is a place worthy of loyalty and support. I truly believe the world needs more Whitfield graduates. They are uniformly kind people who do the right thing.
What was one of your favorite classes at Whitfield?
My favorite class was Physics with Mr. Kopolow. He had a Master’s Degree from M.I.T. and was a wonderful teacher. I also loved playing soccer for Whitfield. Now my son is playing soccer and I love to watch the boys soccer teams. I admire the skill and drive of the varsity players. Watching our Warriors on the pitch is one of my favorite pastimes.
Describe your career.
I love being a trial lawyer. I find the maritime industry and admiralty law fascinating. After 40 years of practice, I enjoy mentoring my younger colleagues. Over the course of my career, I have worked with doctors, accountants, economists, engineers, and riverboat captains and from each learned of their experiences and skills.