April 22, 1963 – May 27, 2005
In his essay, “Civil Disobedience” the early American naturalist- philosopher, Henry David Thoreau wrote about how most people “lead lives of quiet desperation.” Thoreau’s observations back in the early 19th Century remain true today. From an early age we are taught to conform, to obey, and above all, not to question anything. Most of us follow the boring conveyor belt of life: from high school, college, and a job, to cars, a house, a marriage, kids, retirement, and finally death. But there are a few who are wise and strong enough to see through this farce. They object to being squeezed into the prison-house of conformity.
Frank Balthazor was a rare human being who found the strength to become his own being.
Frank’s Impact on GCAS
Echoing the poet, Robert Frost, Frank took the road less traveled by and became his own man not defined by superficial worldly standards. Frank was his own standard, and that has made all the difference.
But Frank’s wisdom wasn’t enough, he also had to be courageous and bold. He was a high school dropout. He wandered the world for years from Germany to Portugal and California. And on “Frank’s road” he learned how to learn. He would travel months on his motorcycle meeting people in search for a deeper more meaningful life. After years of traveling and searching he quickly learned the complex trade of electronics and advanced to a top position in one of the largest electric companies in the Southeast of the United States.
Frank’s life is an example of what the world calls a “misfit” or a “rebel.” But the one thing that lasts and remains true is that no matter how hard the world tried to press him into conformity to “just be normal” Frank was anything but that; indeed he was extraordinary! He was a living philosopher that changed more things by being himself than entire generations of quiet, obedient lost sheep.
The wisdom and courage it took for Frank to live into himself are the virtues that GCAS’ ethos hold dear. Like Frank we endeavor to become fully independent in our collective “difference” in a way that separates our academic community from the insulting debt-saturated status quo “education” that sadly reigns supreme today. Frank is an example of the core virtues that grounds GCAS’ mission: Don’t just interpret and conform to the world, change it!
And this is why we are proud to name our first Bachelor’s degree programme after this world-philosopher, Frank Balthazor who didn’t just accept the world, he changed it precisely because he was true to his own unique path.
Frank Balthazor is the son of Eva EC and Eugene P. and the brother of Sabrina Balthazor. His experience in the early education system was enough for him to reject it for a higher calling– to become himself through himself. It was only an extremely aggressive form of Lymphoma that could take Frank’s independent spirit away from us. But even now, through the Frank Balthazor Scholars Programme his rebel spirit lives on. His spirit will continue living through GCAS’ students and researchers and for this we will continue remembering Frank Balthazor’s life for generations to come.
“He turns all of his injuries into strengths, that which does not kill him makes him stronger, he is superman.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
April 22, 2021 (Earth Day and the Day GCAS College became accredited)
The Frank Balthazor Scholarship is awarded to one GCAS BA researcher-student each year. The scholarship will provide a tuition reduction scholarship to the recipient who will be named “The Frank Balthazor Scholar (year).” This award will be determined by Eva and Sabrina Balthazor.