I am sitting in my new office, looking out the window at the Birthplace, and reminiscing about the circular journey I have been on over the last few years.  Yes, the rumors are true!  I have returned to The Williston Northampton School—although in a very different role. 

After working in the Williston Admissions Office for 18 years as the associate director of admissions, I left in June 2009 to assume the director of admissions position at Emma Willard School.  It was a wonderful experience for me; I grew as a leader and was able to work with some truly amazing people. However, throughout it all, it felt like a piece was missing.

Even though I was a mere 80 miles away in Troy, NY, I came to realize that I missed my friends and family in the Pioneer Valley.  Williston Northampton was, and always will be, home to me.  I have spent almost half of my life here. As I used to tell prospective candidates, if a time machine was ever invented and I could choose between going back to Williston Northampton or going back to college, I’d choose Williston every time!  

So, when the director of alumni relations position opened up at Williston, I thought long and hard about it.  Nothing like making a major career move just short of 50 years old—and partway into the year to boot!  Two things drew me, however. One was that Head of School Bob Hill had the school heading in the right direction. I also knew that there were a lot of exciting things happening on the campus.  

There is still a lot of work to be done before the school can position itself in its rightful place in the boarding school hierarchy. But Williston Northampton is moving forward and I am eager to be a part of that change, as I am eager to have each and every one of you be a part of it as well.  The school can’t do it on its own.  Williston needs your help—whether you are from Northampton School for Girls, Williston Academy, or The Williston Northampton School.  

Once I finally feel settled in, I look forward to planning events both on campus and off campus where you can get involved.  We are looking closely at the entire concept and format of Reunion Weekend; I would welcome any feedback you can provide about programming (or even timing). If this is your Reunion year (3’s and 8’s), I particularly want your input.  

There is a lot to do and the clock is certainly ticking!  Please keep an eye out for news from my office.  I am particularly looking forward to the coming months and all the excitement they will bring!

You can reach me by phone at either 413-529-3301 or via email at jpilgrim@williston.com. Again, I look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing what we can do as we move forward together.


Jeff Pilgrim ‘81
Director of Alumni Relations

The Williston Northampton School
19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027 | Phone: (413) 529-3000 | Fax: (413) 527-9494

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Founded in 1841, Williston is a student-centered, coeducational institution comprising a Middle School of day students and an Upper School of boarding and day students from 25 states and 27 countries.
Williston is a good fit for motivated students who want to be challenged by a variety of academic, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you!
Williston classes are discussion based and collaborative, and we have developed outstanding programs that inspire students to excel. Our faculty members provide a model of critical thinking and enthusiastic engagement.

Williston offers the opportunity to pursue your passions and explore your independence in a community of adults there to guide you. Live and learn on a campus where leadership skills and lifelong friendships take root.

Williston offers an academic arts program complemented by parallel extracurricular arts activities—all taught by faculty members who are practicing musicians, actors, and visual artists.
Williston fields 67 interscholastic teams at the varsity, junior varsity, and beginner levels in 35 sports to give students a full range of opportunities to play. We also offer recreational options and fitness training.
Whether graduates of Williston Academy, Northampton School for Girls, or the Williston Northampton School, our alumni are an engaged and supportive part of the school’s family. No matter where they are in the world, our alumni believe in doing good well.
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