Alum Profile: Tom Borthwick (’05)

Profile by Jillian Gratz (’18)


Tom Borthwick found English to be an amazing major and life pursuit. Now a teacher at Riverside School District, an adjunct professor at Marywood, and published short story writer, Tom reflects on his major and the opportunities it has given him with fond memories and a love for the literary way of life.

“English prepares you for anything in life,” Tom believes. “It encompasses philosophy, history, and psychology.” Tom also strongly advocates and praises English for its ability to assist in critical thinking. He advises current English majors to “Read, read, read,” passionately professing that English majors are given the opportunity to read and encounter “innumerable perspectives from writers across the spectrum.” Tom believes that all English majors “are the thinkers and, perhaps more importantly, the artists and creators who are able to bring reason to disorder.” His belief in English and its ability to change people and the world is inspiring and hopeful.

Tom’s fondest memories of Marywood are many. From his time as the Editor-in-Chief of the Bayleaf, to all of the lifelong relationships forged with teachers and students, Tom remembers his time at Marywood as the experience that “helped shape me into the man and teacher that I am today.”

In his free time, Tom enjoys reading, writing, traveling, spending time with family, and many other ventures. His simplest enjoyment is “sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) reflecting on life.”

When asked whether or not his desired career path changed after graduation, Tom stated that he “was lucky enough to get a teaching job immediately after graduation, and I’ve been in the field since.” Teaching is not a field he sees himself parting from. However, his dream job is that of travel writing. Tom has a passion for traveling that has taken him to “England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Croatia and, in particular, Italy.” On his travels, Tom was very inspired by the cultures of the countries he visited. “I’ve learned so much about other cultures and would love to share in the beauty of the places I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, and the history I’ve absorbed,” he reflects.

Within the many accomplishments Tom has accumulated, including completing the writing of his novel Flash Mob, marrying his wife Michelle, and many more, one new accomplishment stands out: “My son, Tom, was born two weeks ago.  Ushering him into the world is by far the greatest thing I’ve ever done.”

Tom is currently reading Sleeping Beauty by Ross MacDonald. “A few months back, I bought literally every book he wrote,” Tom notes, “and I’ve been plowing through them since!”


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