Head’s Letter


Earlier this spring, I had the chance to speak at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. ,for our annual gathering of Beltway-area alumni and families. I invoked the school’s long history and the momentous chapter that is nearing completion—the culmination of Williston Builds: The Campaign for Our Community. Only the third fundraising campaign in Williston’s 182-year history—and by far the most successful—Williston Builds will exceed its $70 million goal when we close the fiscal year on June 30.

The importance of this campaign is hard to overstate, for its immediate—and long-lasting—impact on the student experience, which is at the heart of everything we do. The new and much-beloved Residential Quad, home to more than half of our boarding students and residential faculty, has been a game chager in terms of attracting new students and faculty and creating an even stronger community. Less visible, but equally important, are the increases in funding for faculty professional development—essential in an era where teaching practices are evolving at AI speed—as well as financial and supplemental aid, which allow us to attract and support talented students from across the socioeconomic spectrum. We’ve also been able to build financial momentum through the growth of the Williston Northampton Fund. All of these investments are allowing Williston to stand even taller, while still holding true to the values and character that have shaped generations.

One question I am sometimes asked is: “If the campaign is already so successful, do you really still need my donation this year?” My answer is a resounding yes! None of the tremendous progress to date would be possible without all of you who have contributed gifts, time, and energy to the campaign—but we still have a ways to go, and we need your help to finish strong as we wrap up our 2023-24 Williston Northampton Fund. In a highly competitive era when boarding schools must constantly evolve, your gifts, big or small, are helping to make the school’s future even brighter.

Speaking of bright futures, as we prepare to celebrate the class of 2024’s Commencement, I can’t help but recall four years ago, when the class of 2020 launched from Williston without a proper farewell and into historically uncertain times. As that intrepid class begins to graduate from college this spring, we wish you the happiest of commencements ahead—and we very much hope to see you back at Williston for your fifth Reunion next June.