OK you Windom Grads, gather ’round. I need to tell the history of a famous son. The one who spread Windom High School colors of Blue and Gold worldwide.
I grew up in Windom, Minnesota. Yes, I am proud that Windom produced Maria Schneider (composer), Randy Weeks (folk singer), and Johnny Olson (TV announcer). A less familiar name is Clark Beise. He was born in Windom, Minnesota in 1898, the son of a doctor.
He was a banker, not so well known today as the others. From 1954 to 1963, however, Clark was the president of Bank of America. Under his guidance, Bank of America implemented the first large scale computer banking applications and the first general use credit card, BankAmericard. From the beginning, this card had blue and gold stripes. This blue and gold logo was carried over when it became the Visa Card. Here are some early logos.
Wikipedia states, the stripes were “originally chosen to represent the blue sky and golden-colored hills of California.” I believe it goes farther back than that. At Windom High School, I cheered for the Eagles and was proud of our Blue and Gold school colors. I assume, Clark Beise was just as proud when the Windom Eagle Blue and Gold was chosen for the BankAmericard.
Here are some other links that might be of interest.
New York Times, retrieved 18 Sep 2015
Retrieved from LA Times on 18 Sep 2015
Retrieved from Bank of America Website on 18 Sep 2015
Retrieved from Max Preps on 18 Sep 2015
Finally, I wish to acknowledge my brother, Peter Ruenitz, who gave me this idea for this post.