This story originally appeared in the fall 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Palo Alto Military Academy (PAMA) graduate William Mathews Brooks ’67 found something unique scuba diving in the Indonesian seas: a new species of coral reef fish. The discovery was the cover story in the April edition of the International Journal of Ichthyology.
“The fish is specifically of the goby (Gobiidae) genus,” explained Brooks, who named the species – a brightly colored orange and pink fish with a distinctive bright yellow mid-lateral stripe that runs horizontally down the side of its body – Eviota pamae.
This new species is named pamae in honor of Pamela Scott Rorke, Brooks’ wife and diving companion on the expedition that uncovered the fish.
A successful businessman and entrepreneur, Brooks is well known in adventuring circles for his passion for the outdoors. An avid climber, mountaineer and alpinist, he is a certified international mountain guide and founder of Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment Co. He is also a longtime certified scuba diving instructor who began diving in college in the early 1970s.
Brooks was twice decorated by the American Mountain Guides Association, once in 2010 and again in 2012. He collected that organization’s two most prestigious awards, the Presidential Gold Medal and Lifetime Achievement Award, and is its honorary past-president.
He credits Harker with giving him the tools he needed early on to able to lead such a successful life. “PAMA provided me with a wonderful academic and moral base. When I first entered the school I was a struggling student …. By the time I left I excelled and became a merit scholar,” he recalled.