Since its founding in 1897, approximately 11,100 students have attended Gilman School. Of those, about 8,400 are alive and, of those, 5,900 made it all the way through to graduation. While many have achieved great notoriety or acclaim, one man stands above the rest.
Born on May 29, 1921, Morton Y. (Mort) Bullock, III ’38 is Gilman’s oldest living graduate alumnus. Also known as Mr. B., he entered Gilman in the Third Form (ninth grade) in 1934 and spent four years in and around Carey Hall. A strong student, he did very well academically. Of legendary math teacher Miles Marrian, known as a strict disciplinarian, he said, “He was really good but not a fun teacher.” He was a member of the Areopagus Debating Club and enjoyed serving as manager of the ice hockey team. He prepared reports after each game.
After graduating from Johns Hopkins in 1941, Mr. B. served in the U.S. Navy for two years, ultimately as Lieutenant Junior Grade. Fascinated by engines, he trained as an engineer. This included additional education in Philadelphia, service at the Naval Air Base in Norfolk, VA, and working in an aeronautical engineering lab with Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, CT. His duties included engine repair and maintenance. Later, he had a long career in the life insurance business and retired in 1986 as General Agent for John Hancock in Baltimore.
His favorite hobby was and still is collecting classic antique cars. At one time the owner of eight, he still has a 1934 Rolls Royce and a 1934 Hispano-Suiza that have kept him going. “When I retired,” he said, “I didn’t just sit in the house. I pursued my classic car hobby, and that kept me busy. I was always fascinated by classic cars of the 1920s and 1930s.”
Mr. B. married the former Elizabeth (Betty) Swigert in 1946. They were married for 67 years prior to her death in 2013. Her hobby was the collection, furnishing, and decoration of miniature dollhouses. “Each of us had a hobby,” he emphasized. “Having interest in Betty’s hobby contributed to my longevity. If others have a similar opportunity to share an interest, they should take advantage of it.”
The Bullocks have a daughter, Susan (Wickie) Dawe (Bryn Mawr ’64), of Des Moines, IA, a son Russ Bullock ’70, who lives in historic Glyndon, MD, and two grandsons. Russ, a 13-year man, is clearly proud when he says of his father, “Though he has limited mobility, his mental acuity is phenomenal. He’s doing very well considering he’s 99. He has a custodial aide five days a week. I talk to him every day. His mother lived to be 102. Dad felt it important that I go to Gilman and receive a top-notch education. That has stood me in good stead both personally and professionally better than any experience I might have had.”
Mr. B. resides in Ruxton and has had a summer home in Cape May, NJ for 21 years. In reflecting upon his four years on Roland Avenue, he concludes, “I got a very good education and enjoyed the boys I met. Yes, Gilman prepared me well. I always try to look at the funny side of life.”
Sounds like a man who’s looking forward to his next milestone. May he reach the century mark in 2021 in good health and good humor!
Oldest Living Graduate Alumni – Honorable Mention
2. Frazer L.W. Dougherty ’40 (Born June 16, 1922)
3. L. Paul Bolgiano ’40 (Born June 20, 1922)