With less than one year to go in the Williston Builds campaign, we are poised to surpass our $70 million goal—the largest in school history.
As campaign co-chairs, we have been thrilled—but not at all surprised—to see thousands of alumni, parents, and friends come together to propel us toward this historic finish line. That sense of community and purpose is what distinguishes Williston Northampton, and unites us all across the decades. Williston Builds: The Campaign for Our Community has already had an outsize impact on the school: a new Residential Quad; dramatic improvements in faculty housing; the strengthening of academic programs and faculty support; and an investment in the many types of diversity that add depth and vitality to our community. In this concluding phase of the campaign, we are especially focused on seeking endowment in support of financial aid and sustaining the growth of the Williston Northampton Fund, so essential to the school’s bright financial future. On the following pages, you’ll meet a few of the exceptional people whose contributions have already fueled great change at our alma mater. We encourage you to join us. Your support and involvement will have an immediate impact on students now and for generations to come.—John Booth ’83; Kevin Hoben ’65; Ellen (Rosenberg) Livingston ’86, P’18 | Williston Builds Campaign Co-Chairs
By the Numbers
$23M: Total dollar amount of new documented planned gifts during the campaign
20%: Increase in in-person events during the past year—great to see so many of you!
1,268: The number of $100 (or less) gifts last year, which totaled $72,350 (or the equivalent of one full financial aid package)
In Support of Belonging
For Joe Rigali ’70, being a founding donor of the Equity Fund is key to making an impact for students today
As one of the founding donors to Williston’s Equity Fund, Joe Rigali ’70 is helping to create a sense of belonging for current students. Now in its third year, this donor-supported fund helps underwrite the true expense of the Williston experience for students from families with very high financial need, covering the cost of such items as team gear, calculators, college application fees, and pizza with friends on the weekends. Rigali, who is a Williston Trustee and an active member of the school’s DEIB committee, has been encouraged by the school’s commitment to its 2021 strategic plan for DEIB (see the full plan at williston.com/diversity), which aims to make the school a more welcoming community for all students from all backgrounds. “I believe in the plan’s long term goals, but I also wanted to find immediate and concrete ways to make a difference in the daily lives of students now,” he says. “The Equity Fund’s purpose aligns perfectly with my intent, and I hope it is affecting the lives of students today.”
Why I Give
What motivates someone to support Williston? Here are just a few of the wonderful reasons we’ve heard this year.
“I loved the education and connections I made while at Northampton School for Girls.”—Sue Everets ’62
“Williston gave me an incredibly solid foundation that carried me through college and a 38-year career. Thank you seems so insignificant, but I am truly appreciative—THANK YOU, Williston!”—David Fasser ’58
“I continue to see small signs every day of what Williston did for me at a critical point in my life. I’m forever grateful for my lifelong friends, families, coaches, and faculty, especially my dorm parents. They helped me become the woman I am today, and I like that version of myself.”—Lauren (Helm) Bowman ’16
“Williston has been an amazing environment for our daughter to flourish academically and socially. She loves it, so we love it!”—Marcia and Mike Mallett P’26
“It’s always a great day to be a Wildcat! Love this community and everything it provides!”—Olivia Moses Clough ’09
“Keep on paving the way in creating leaders!”—Migdalia Gonzalez ’85
“Loved Williston Northampton as a student! Had a lot of fun while preparing for my future. Excellent school!”—Chris Benedict ’91
“Williston was one of my best life experiences!”—Michael Wills ’72
“Our granddaughter is a junior and is receiving an outstanding education.”—Betty and Russell Gaudreau GP ’24
All in the Family
Richard Shields ’61 started a multi-generational Williston tradition
Dick Shields ’61 is not one to abandon the tried and true. He still prefers a phone call to an email. He still plays golf, skis, and swims—all sports from his Williston days. And at 79, when many of his peers have retired, he still rises at 4:30 a.m. to manage his family’s building-supply company, Dresser Hull Lumber and Building Supplies, in Lee, Massachusetts. It’s a routine that has served him well for 53 years.
Shields may be a model of consistency, but he notes that there was one period in his life when he was truly transformed: his time at Williston. “I wasn’t a very good student, but that’s where my life changed,” he says. It began with a summer school math class taught by Dan Carpenter, who, in addition to explaining algebra, passed along a memory technique that Shields still employs today. “You use association,” Shields explains. “You remember one little thing about somebody or something that will trigger your memory. It really helped me a lot in my life.”
Nowhere has Shields been more consistent than as an ambassador for Williston. His family is living proof. His daughter, Lisa Shields Ciejek ’90, was the first to follow his path to Easthampton, where she met her husband, Alex Ciejek ’90. Then came Shields’ nephew Greg Knight ’93, his son Chris Shields ’94, his niece Sarah Madden ’01, and his grandchildren Liam Shields ’20, Lily Shields ’21, Matthew Shields ’21, and Daniel Ciejek ’23. Daniel’s younger sister, Hanne, has not officially made the decision to apply, but her grandfather is feeling optimistic. “She’s been down to Williston several times to see Daniel,” he notes. “I think she’s in the fold.”
Shields’ personal and financial support for the school has been similarly unwavering. He served twice on the school’s Board of Trustees, between 1992 and 1995 and again between 2004 and 2014. During his tenure, he served as chair of the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, and a member of its Facilities Task Force and Finance Committee. Today, he continues to serve as a nontrustee member of the board’s Facilities Committee. Dresser Hull provided building materials for the new dorms on the Residential Quad, saving the school hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This year, the Shields family has established a financial-aid scholarship fund. “After all that’s been given to me and my family, it’s time to give back,” Shields explains. “We hope that someone gets a chance to go to Williston and is able to have what all of us have had. We all have experienced that positive impact.”