John S. Vail continued on to a life of military service and success in the business world following his graduation from Gannon University in 1963. While seeking his undergraduate degree from Gannon, Mr. Vail pledged Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and was actively involved in intramural sports. He has fond memories of academic endeavors, such as taking salesmanship with Professor Peter Schumotz, as well as social outings, like the annual 8 Ball Dance and dancing at the student union on Sundays with his peers.
In addition to these social and academic commitments, Mr. Vail devoted a significant amount of time to one of the most honorable organizations on campus, the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program. Once he completed his business degree, he went through both Ranger and Airborne military schools, and served a total of six years with the United States Army. Mr. Vail is a proud Vietnam veteran.
Following his honorable military career, Mr. Vail traded in his combat boots for a suit and tie. He entered the business world and accepted a position with American Express, located in New York City. He would eventually work as a Senior Relationship Executive with the company, attending symposiums, giving speeches, attending trade shows, and visiting high profile executives to establish rapports on behalf of the group. After a gratifying 37 years with American Express, Mr. Vail retired from his position and began pursuing his personal passions, including volunteer work.
Mr. Vail currently resides in Peachtree Corners, Georgia with his wife of 50 years. Mr. and Mrs. Vail have three children and seven grandchildren.
In his retirement, Mr. Vail works at the Hartsfield/Jackson Airport as a United Service Organizations (USO) volunteer, is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association (AVVBA), and additionally serves as a lector and usher at All Saints Catholic Church. He continues to give back to the Gannon community through his service to the National Alumni Board, always doing what he can to encourage the participation of more alumni throughout the country.
When asked to give a piece of advice to current Gannon University students, Mr. Vail offered the following. “Be the best that you can be throughout college and then make an impact in any and all jobs you have throughout life.”
(Published July 2016)