The late Philip S. Day, J.D., worked his way through college as a dance instructor and professional boxer, but he never would have had the means to complete his law degree at St. Mary’s University without additional financial assistance.
Out of gratitude, Day (LL.B. ’59) created a $1 million charitable remainder trust to assist future generations of promising lawyers.
The scholar-athlete was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Brewer, Maine, in a family with six children struggling amid the Great Depression. As a child, Day would pick string beans to contribute financially to the family.
“Growing up poor, anything that you could do would help put some food on the table,” said his brother, James M. Day, of Castine, Maine.
After finishing an undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College in Maine, a sports injury kept him from joining the military. He found another form of service – the legal profession – and a college friend from San Antonio helped him attend to the St. Mary’s University School of Law to study, his brother said.
“Without the opportunity to apply for the scholarship, he wouldn’t have been able to have done what he did because we were extremely poor,” said James Day of his brother, who went on to work for the international law firm Baker and McKenzie in Washington, D.C., and eventually to start his own practice.
Philip Day’s charitable remainder trust will benefit the St. Mary’s School of Law in honor of the help he received to finish his degree, his brother said.
“That little bit of assistance might change students’ direction,” James Day said. “Even though they may never know him, at least they know that someone named Philip Day might have changed their life.”