Physician and lawyer talk about the school that helped make them who they are today.
When you get Walter and James Mosley together to talk about The Grosse Pointe Academy, the love and appreciation they have for the school is palpable. After all, according to both of them, their current career success would not have been possible if not for the Early School-to-eighth-grade education they received at the Academy.
“I don’t think we can emphasize enough the incredible opportunity we received by going to The Grosse Pointe Academy,” said 1993 alum James Mosley, a cardiac physician based in Los Angeles. “Considering what was available to us in our neighborhood schools, even the private schools in our area, I am truly convinced that I would not have been able to even get into my undergrad programs in college if not for the foundation from The Grosse Pointe Academy.”
For Walter Mosley, who graduated from GPA in 1992 and who also lives in the Los Angeles area, it was not only the academics, it was some of the “intangibles” gained from his Academy experience.
“Character development,” Walter said with much emphasis. “From an academics perspective, especially with science and math, the foundation was super strong. But what I grew to appreciate later and something that is very important to me now was the focus on character development at the Academy, and definitely the school’s emphasis on being very family-oriented, and on becoming not only a good person, but a good person with integrity.”
For the Mosley brothers, though, it’s not just talk. They both decided recently that they would like to establish a scholarship fund so that more students who may not otherwise have the chance can attend their alma mater.
“Because the Academy was such an important part of our career and success, James and I came up with this scholarship to help other kids who grow up in similar situations as us, and to give them the same opportunities we had,” Walter Mosley said. “We want to make a difference in a way that we can be proud of.”
The Mosleys are in discussions with GPA officials on the specific details of the scholarship, the details of which will be announced at a later date.
From the Academy to Harvard and a wildly growing and eclectic career
After graduating from the Academy in 1992 and Cass Technical High School four years later, Walter Mosley, who operates a boutique entertainment law firm in LA, matriculated to the University of Michigan where he earned an undergrad degree in computer engineering. He then received a Master of Science degree from U-M in information, economics and management with a specialization in incentive-centered designed.
After Michigan, Mosley turned to the Harvard Law School for his law degree and the Dean’s Award, which was granted to him by current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. He then clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Currently, he is a member of the state bars of California and New York as well as the Federal Tax Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Currently, Mosley’s firm represents a huge cadre of social influencers and entertainers, including Debbie Allen, Amber Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Blac Chyna, and Will Smith and Harry Smith of Overbrook Entertainment.
In addition to his entertainment clients, Mosley said he also represents funds, high-net worth individuals and small businesses in a variety of corporate finance, film finance, private equity, merger and acquisition and corporate advisory matters. Further, he handles trademark, copyright, licensing and general corporate matters as well as representing producers, production companies and labels in film, music, television and fashion projects.
On the creative side, with his producing partner, Amber Rose, Mosley is the executive producer of the “Amber Rose Show” (now on MTV) as well as the #1 Show on E! Online, “Rob and Chyna.” In film, he’s also produced the feature film, “Sister Code,” and a new Smith Global/Sony Pictures release called “Valley of Bones,” which debuts in March.
A very busy guy, to be sure. But when it comes to the Academy, he keeps the time he spent there in a very special place close to his heart.
“With respect to the ‘family’ thing I talked about earlier, I believe I can still remember the first and last names of all my classmates,” he said. “And I consider them still my ‘family’ even though I don’t get back to Michigan that often.”
Walter Mosley also has special memories of his history classes and the various class trips that included Washington, DC, and Stratford, Ontario, for the Shakespeare festivals.
“History was exciting, interesting, but hard,” he said, “and I also remember James and I playing tennis together at GPA where we learned a lot about the game.”
Mosley also recalled becoming very comfortable with technology and computers at GPA, which he said was extremely helpful for him during his undergrad in engineering at the University of Michigan.
From the Academy to Northwestern to med school to cardiology
Like Walter, his brother James also graduated from Cass Tech. But unlike Walter, who attended U-M, James went on to Northwestern University and received a BS in biomedical engineering. He then was accepted to medical school at the University of Illinois after which he did an internship at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Program, Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Jesse Brown VA Hospital.
Following that, James did a fellowship in interventional cardiology and peripheral intervention in the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, at the Scripps Green Hospital, which led to his current position as an interventional cardiologist at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, part of Kaiser Permanente, in Fontana, California.
While at Kaiser, Mosley began and led the TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) program (2014), co-founded a special mitral clip program (2016) and now routinely performs high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention that includes ventricular assist devices.
James Mosley still well-remembers The Grosse Pointe Academy. And like Walter, it is with tremendous affection.
“When I think back to my entire education — I mean, as a physician, I did many years when you count undergrad and medical school and beyond,” he said. “Out of all that academic experience, I am probably most fond and proud of my Grosse Pointe Academy years. It was a great environment. I loved going to school each day. I enjoyed the friends I made there. And while the classes were definitely difficult and rigorous, at the time, I don’t think I appreciated just how well we were being prepared for the next levels.”
He said one of his favorite teachers was Mr. (Michael) Fultz, who taught biology at the Academy.
“So I’ve always been big fan of the sciences, which is one of the reasons I went into medicine, but Mr. Fultz’s classes were amazing,” Mosley said. “In biology, we had this book that listed about 50 trees, and most kids don’t get the opportunity to be on a campus where you can actually find most of the trees in the book. And species of birds that we’d also find. I mean, it was amazing! For me it was just lots of fun while we were learning. I still have great memories of those things.”
James Mosley then gets a bit more resolute in tone.
“What an opportunity it was for us back then going to The Grosse Pointe Academy,” he said. “Especially considering that high school was kind of a ‘wash’ for me. But GPA is a huge emphasis for both Walter and me. We thought of this scholarship we are proposing because of what we were afforded back then at GPA, and how it’s propelled us in our respective careers. And it’s why we are very serious about wanting to contribute to kids who come from similar neighborhoods and situations and give back that same opportunity to others.”
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2-1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.