An Inspiring Example
Few alumni have shown more dedication to Williston than Henry Zachs ’52. In honoring him with the Founders’ Award at Reunion in May, Head of School Robert Hill III noted that “Henry’s encyclopedic knowledge of his class, his deep connection to his classmates, tireless service to the school, and generous philanthropic commitment demonstrate his love for his school and for those who help carry forward its mission.”
Indeed, it is his generosity with both time and resources that sets Henry apart. He has endowed the Zachs’ Faculty Chairs, his name graces the Zachs Admission Center, and he has also served as a class agent, a reunion volunteer, and a caller for the Williston Northampton Fund. In 2016, for the Founders Day Challenge, he put up a matching gift of $25,000 that sparked an outpouring of support from the community—and raised nearly $150,000 in a single day.
“You can’t take it with you,” he explained recently to the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. “So you have to give back and set an example.” And set an example he has. Henry is constantly challenging his classmates and others to support the school as he does. In 2002, at his 50th reunion, the school recognized his efforts with its Distinguished Service Award.
A political science major at Trinity College (which recognized him with its highest award for philanthropy in 2006), he received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, then, in 1960, founded Message Center Beepers, building successful businesses in the paging, telecommunications, internet, and cellular tower industries. Over the years, he has served as a trustee of numerous organizations in the greater Hartford area, but he has never forgotten Williston.