“Williston changed my life” is something I hear all the time when speaking with alumni.
I love hearing those words—and I can relate to them, too, because Williston helped transform my life when I was a student, giving me confidence, leadership skills, and a lifelong community of friends. I saw the same thing happen for my son Max, who graduated in 2018. Those transformative experiences are what have inspired me to get and stay involved with the school, most recently as a Trustee and Co-chair of the Williston Builds campaign and the Williston Northampton Fund. If you haven’t been back to the school in a while, it’s hard to adequately convey the feeling of momentum at the school today, which the campaign is helping to further crystalize around important priorities such as academic excellence, community, access and belonging, and financial strength for the future. On the following pages you’ll hear from a few of the alumni, parents, and friends who have already gotten involved—and see some of the ways their generosity is immediately making a difference at the school. But I also encourage you to see for yourself. Come back to campus and see the new Residential Quad or the state-of-the-art science labs. Come to a holiday gathering or Reunion and talk with faculty and old friends. Join an alumni Zoom call or attend a networking event. I think you’ll find that your alma mater is thriving in new ways, while still retaining a powerful through line back to the values and experiences you found so important. Finally, I encourage you to get involved with Williston Builds. Your support and involvement will have an immediate impact on students, now and for generations to come. Find out more at williston.com/campaign. —Ellen Rosenberg Livingston ’86, P’18
8.9M Total dollars raised last year—the best fundraising year in school history
21% Increase in annual parent giving since the start of the Williston Builds campaign
5k+ Number of gifts from alumni, parents, and friends to the campaign since it started
More than 5,000 people have already contributed to the Williston Builds campaign. Here are a few of their reasons why.
“I give back to Williston because I want other kids who were like me to experience the amazing experience that I had here. Williston changed the course of my life, and I hope that by my giving back, I’ll be able to change someone else’s life in a similar way.”—Brandon Diaz ’12
“I give back because Williston gave me something more than I could possibly repay. They gave me a sense of family. I have two parents, two other siblings, great community there, but Williston gave me a sense of acceptance and emotional awareness and a true feeling of belonging.”—Janelle Parker ’13
“I was a recipient of financial aid while I was here, and Williston was definitely a life changer for me, and I wouldn’t have had that opportunity without the generous donors that preceded my time here. So as long as I have the means to do so, I always love to give back to Williston.”—Meaghan Sullivan ’01
“I feel Williston made me the person I am. They provided the right environment, a very nurturing environment, which I needed at that time of my life. And it was nurturing not only from an academic standpoint, but also from a psychological standpoint. That opportunity just provided the foundation I needed to grow and I can’t pay that back.”—Michael Hirsch ’73
“I was a full financial aid student here and I remember what that was like. It was not easy. So I give back as much as I possibly can to make the situation a little bit better for students who come after me. Williston’s a great place, but I think we can do better and I think it’s important that we give to financial aid to make every student’s experience here somewhat equitable.”—Kelly Opdenaker Babbidge ’97
“I give back to Williston because I want to ensure that the next generation of students can have the same transformative experience that I had at Williston. I am not exaggerating when I say Williston was the best four years of my life.”—HaoShu Xu ’13
“I give back because I want more people to experience Williston. I’ve been on other continents, and all around the world, but it was Williston that really gave me that sense of belonging. That makes me want to help other students who want to come here.”—Yemi Lawani ’96