When you conduct an Internet search of the Top-10 jobs held by a history major a list populated by www.indeed.com which includes careers as a park ranger, museum archivist, librarian, lawyer, researcher and history professor among the possibilities. However, if you are ever traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands and perusing through the town and come upon the St. George Village Botanical Gardens in St. Croix, you might spot a history diploma from Salem College awarded in 1990 to Sally Lemmon Bugg.
Bugg, who assumed a development position in January after moving from Vermont, has the daunting task of fundraising and helping preserve the native and exotic Caribbean plant species. Through the seed bank, and Bugg’s focus on raising money and awareness, The Botanial Garden of the Virgin Islands will be able to continue its mission of advocating for the native and exotic Caribbean plant species and natural and cultural heritage.
The former Salem College swimmer has never followed the blueprint of a typical history major, working as a wrangler in Boulder, Colorado shortly after leaving the Winston-Salem campus. She then worked with the Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta and eventually with the March of Dimes and the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia before getting married and moving to New Jersey where she returned to the March of Dimes.
While her experiences have been numerous since her departure from Salem College, she says that the team concept of swimming is “part of my fabric and experiences.” Bugg, a lifelong swimmer throughout elementary, middle and high school, came to Salem and saw a great pool without a team. Bugg, along with a group of friends, organized a petition to the Salem president to get a team. The petition was successful and Salem swimming became a club sport with Laura Richards as the head coach.
The humble Bugg described the petition process as “becoming a trailblazer in different ways.” As she speaks of her alma mater, which recognized her as Young Alumnae of the Year at her 10th reunion, Bugg said that “Salem made me who I am. Friendships are key. Five of us that have stayed in contact with each other since graduation and those bonds are forever.” The quaint campus in Winston-Salem, N.C., allowed Bugg to “focus on herself as an individual because there was nothing you couldn’t do or try.” However, she does point out that “there’s a lot you can do, but can’t do it all at the same time.”
Bugg also points out that she takes tremendous pride in the fact that the swimming and athletic department is as dynamic as it is. She has kept a watchful eye on Salem athletics as she remains close to the water from her home in Virgin Islands. “I don’t swim much anymore because it bothers the equilibrium in my ears, but my kids are all comfortable in the water and enjoy swimming, including my oldest who is a lifeguard,” said Bugg. “We do a little snorkeling here because the water is super salty and it’s easy to float. We also are considering doing the scuba diving certification and I definitely enjoy the view of the water daily.”
Bugg spoke about her time at Salem as a student-athlete and made the following remarks:
Name (including maiden name): Sally Lemmon Bugg
Degree(s) Earned: BA History
The sports awards banquet and funny gifts team gave out. Also, starting the swim team!
It was a different era then but our coach ,Laura Richards, was a great mentor and friend.
It gave me confidence I could contribute and make a difference.
I wasn’t the fastest or strongest swimmer but I loved to swim. Being part of a team and what you can do collectively makes a big difference! Everyone plays a role.
The Salem experience for me was life changing and the friendships are lifelong. Women helping women is a great thing. I also do believe that you can do anything you want – you just might not be able to do all the things at the same time though!
Really too far removed to say but cheering each other on and moving our little club sport to getting recognition was pretty great!
What advice did you receive while playing at Salem that you apply to the course of your everyday life?
Too far removed to remember…we were competing on a club level so it was a very different situation that it is now!