Williston Northampton Receives Largest Gift in School History


On Thursday, May 16, 2024, the Williston Northampton School announced that it was the beneficiary of a $6.7 million bequest from the estate of Henry ’42 and Amy Liss—the largest single donation ever made to Williston Northampton. The gift is also the largest philanthropic gift within Williston Builds: The Campaign for Our Community that concludes on June 30.

Henry, Williston class of 1942, was a pioneering neurosurgeon and his wife, Amy, served as a Williston trustee from 1992 through 2005. After Henry’s death in 2006, Amy continued to be an actively involved with the school until her own passing in 2021. The Liss’ bequest will be evenly distributed between two endowed funds established by Henry and Amy during their lifetimes:

  • Henry R. ’42 and Amy C. Liss Scholarship – providing need-based financial aid for students of color
  • Henry R. ’42 and Amy C. Liss Faculty Development Fund – underwriting professional development and enrichment opportunities for faculty

Together with other philanthropic gifts Henry and Amy made during their lifetimes, these two funds have values of nearly $4 million each and will generate approximately $200,000 each year in perpetuity for faculty professional development and need-based student financial aid.

The Liss Scholarship Fund supports the school’s quest to open the door of opportunity for talented students regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. Williston typically awards more than $6.6 million in need-based financial aid each academic year, and 42 percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Funds generated each year from endowed scholarships underwrites that critical institutional investment and helps Williston create a vibrant and diverse student body.

The Faculty Development fund allows faculty members to improve their skills and stay creatively inspired through professional development opportunities including graduate degrees, conferences, workshops, educational travel, and stipended chairs and instructorships. The new ideas, energy, and skills that teachers gain directly benefit students in the classroom.

“We are enormously grateful to Henry and Amy for recognizing the school through this extraordinary legacy gift,” said Head of School Robert W. Hill III. “Both have been tremendous stewards of the school, and the impact of their gift on future generations will be profound and significant.” Through the Williston Builds campaign, thousands of alumni, parents, and friends are contributing to the success of the school today—and tomorrow. To learn more about the Williston Builds campaign, click here.