Following a Marine Corps tour, Sam Baez, Classes of 1960 and 1976, who was raised in a Christian family, experienced a reawakening of his spiritual roots while at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He joined the antiphonal choir and began teaching Sunday school to children of the faculty and staff. Sam decided to pursue ministry, so he resigned from his commission as a midshipman. He went on to graduate from Macalester College, Class of 1957, and Princeton Theological Seminary.
Following graduation from seminary, Sam was ordained in 1961 by the Presbytery of St. Paul and was called to the armed forces as a navy chaplain, where he served for twenty years. When reflecting on his time in the navy—serving his country, traveling the world, and meeting new people—Sam says, “Everyday was an adventure!” As a navy chaplain, he enjoyed conducting services, providing counseling, leading retreats, and supporting his colleagues and local citizens—emotionally and spiritually.
Having been ordained for more than fifty years, Sam is thankful for the many professors, colleagues, friends, and members of various churches from around the world who supported him on his journey. “It is important for me to leave a gift behind for those institutions and people—professors and friends from PTS who helped shape me. I included Princeton Seminary in my will to honor them. Throughout my life, I was very aware that the more I gave, the more I received. That is still true to this day,” he says.
At his fiftieth class reunion in 2010, as part of the class gift, Sam designated a bequest to PTS. He encourages past and future graduates of PTS to do the same and says, “No gift is too small.”
Today, Sam lives in Connecticut and continues in “ministry” as a traveler, a writer, an artist, and a sports participant and enthusiast.