The merger of Williston Academy and Northampton School for Girls in the fall of 1971 ushered in a new era of coeducation for both institutions—and brought with it no small amount of trepidation about what lay ahead. In the ensuing half-century, however, the positive consequences of that decision have become increasingly clear, and nowhere more so than in the success of the school’s female graduates.

As Williston looks ahead to its next 50 years, the school is honoring these remarkable alumnae, as well as those whose promise is still unfolding. We here present our “50 for the Next 50,” a collection of women who’ve shaped and will continue to define the school’s future.

Narrowing the list to 50 honorees was not easy. After soliciting nominees from the school community, our selection committee supplemented those names with others who have achieved reknown in their work. The school was fortunate to have on its committee two women who themselves have and will continue to shape Williston’s future: Dean of Faculty Corinne Fogg ’99 and former Assistant Head of School Ann Pickrell.

In reviewing the list, Pickrell, who in her 40 years at Williston knew most of the honorees, noted how gratifying it was to honor their success. “To work with, live with, and collaborate with these young women is an amazing experience. I’m incredibly proud of them, and hope that they will look at this as the honor that it is.” Bringing her perspective as an alumna and Dean of Faculty, Fogg noted the honorees’ breadth of achievement—in fields as diverse as culinary arts, politics, law, music, athletics, and education. “This is a dyamic group of women across all ages and stages of life and in almost every industry. To me, that speaks volumes for Williston’s capacity to prepare young people for lives well lived—and to fully be oneself.”

To better understand what motivates our honorees, we asked them for their thoughts on a number of topics, which you can read below by clicking on each photo. You’ll also find the answers of our esteemed judges, Ann Pickrell and Corie Fogg.

While these women have blazed widely divergent trails, their comments reveal common values, including the importance of breaking out of your comfort zone, trusting your instincts, speaking out, and living life fully. Pickrell sees another unifying theme. “They all are following their passions,” she observes. “They all had the confidence to go after what they were interested in—whether they won an Olympic medal or an Emmy, or made it to the Billboard list of top-selling records.” Looking ahead, Fogg hopes that the list will be an inspiration to current and future students. “I want students to see themselves reflected in the depth of this group. It’s a deep pool of expertise into which students can dip pens of their own to write their future life stories.”