Since the first day of 7th grade, Cameron Whitehead and I have been friends. As we moved through middle and high school, the values instilled in us by San Marcos Baptist Academy shaped who we would become as men. After graduation in 2011, we went our separate ways, but we did not stray too far. Living just a few miles from the Academy, Cameron and I are now business partners. We are confident that no matter what path life takes us on, we will become successful because of the solid foundation laid for us during our time at the Academy.
While I went to attend Louisiana College to pursue a college baseball career after graduation, my home-base was still San Marcos. When school was on break for the holidays, I would make trips home to spend time with friends and family. After earning my B.S. with a focus in Business Administration, Management & Marketing, I made the permanent move back to San Marcos. It was great timing because Cameron had an extra room available for rent so naturally, I took advantage of the opportunity and moved in immediately!
Cameron had been busy pursuing his career while I was in Louisiana. From a very young age, he has been eyeing a career in the auction industry. Being a third-generation auctioneer gave him unique leverage in the field, but that was not enough. Upon graduating from SMA, Cameron enrolled at Missouri Auction School, which has been hailed as “the Harvard of auctioneering schools.” He quickly received his Auctioneer license and went right to work! Cameron founded CW Auctioneers, which is currently responsible for providing auction services to over 200 auctions per year ranging from auto to fundraising events.
After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree, I began working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. While at Enterprise, I gained valuable insight and experience I could apply to running my own business. Cameron and I have always worked well together and decided to go into business together. In 2016 we made the jump into real estate. We joined Century 21 Randall Morris & Associates in San Marcos under the brokerage of former Academy graduate Carter Morris (Class of 1997).
This venture has not been entered into lightly by either of us. Without the foundation laid by the Academy, neither of us would be in a position to successfully pursue such an endeavor. It boils down to the core values that every Academy faculty and staff member embodies and strives every day to pass along to their students.
Instilling Values: Faith in Jesus Christ
The most important thing that The Academy instilled in us was our faith in Jesus Christ. This has been instrumental in our partnership because no matter the highs or lows, we understand there is a bigger plan being put together by God. It helps keep us level-headed knowing that we still have this support system at The Academy who share this same belief, even years after graduating.
Second, the Academy’s focus on the enrichment of lives built on honesty, integrity, character, and the compassionate concern for others has been woven into the fabric of our daily lives. It is transferred into every interaction we make and without it, many doors would not have been opened.
Third, the Academy held us accountable and kept us focused in the pursuit of spiritual, academic, and physical excellence. Cameron and I pride ourselves on being men of our word, and through the relationships we made at the Academy (including our own), we continue to hold each other accountable in every aspect of life.
Instilling Values: Preparing Servant Leaders
Finally, the Academy prepares servant leaders. To quote Robert K. Greenleaf, “The servant-leader is servant first; it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” The Academy teaches this philosophy and set of practices to its students, where we learned to enrich the lives of others and build better organizations. Ultimately, offering our service and applying our passion towards projects, we hope to create a more just and caring world. Without direction, it’s nearly impossible for any business to succeed. To give yourself or your business direction, it is important to know the foundation on which you stand. That is what I am most thankful for from the Academy. It truly does lay the foundation for success to the students who walk its halls.
Now, six years after graduating from the Academy, Cameron and I work every day to embody the core values which we learned. These values have allowed us to pursue our business partnership as real estate agents and beyond. We will continue to hold firm to that foundation as we expand into commercial real estate, investing, and the expansion of CW Auctioneers. We hope to have CW Auctioneers become a household name for auction services throughout the great state of Texas and on a national scale in forms of fundraisers, charity events and benefit auctions.
All of this we pursue with feet firmly grounded on the foundation that began being poured on our first day at San Marcos Baptist Academy back in 2005. Now we move steadfastly forward, remembering the words Ad Viros Faciendos (“Toward the Making of Men”) on the Academy Seal. The Academy truly had a hand in that process in my life and in the lives of so many others who attended and graduated. I speak for Cameron and myself when I say that I cannot thank SMA enough for its part shaping me into the man that I am, and will become.
Darby Rollins, 2011 SMA Graduate