Distinguished Service Award 2018

James Cain '68

The Distinguished Service Award is the preeminent service award bestowed by the school.  Since 1959, this Award has been given to that person who has shown through his or her actions an exceptional measure of devotion to The Williston Northampton School.  It is with great pleasure that I present the Distinguished Service award to James Cain, Class of 1968.

Jim came to Williston Academy in 1964 from Holyoke, and quickly made contributions to the school as an athlete and student leader. He was on the football team, co-captain of the wrestling team, and played lacrosse in the spring. He was a member of the Press Club, Student Council, the “Y” Cabinet President, Vice-Chairman of the Steering Committee, member of the Honor Committee, and treasurer of UMAC.

After graduating from Harvard, Jim embarked on a 40-year career in investment banking. In 1982, he founded healthcare investment bank, Cain Brothers, with his brother Dan, class of 1964, where he served as CEO until 2009.

Jim’s connection to Williston did not end at his graduation in 1968. He volunteered as a member of the Alumni Council, for the Williston Northampton Fund, and as a member of reunion gift committees.

He has contributed his expertise to the school as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and served as a trustee from 1995 – 2005. He held the position of Board Treasurer for the length of his tenure, was chair of the Finance Committee, and was a member of the Development, Planning Executive, and Capital Leadership committees. We have certainly reaped the benefits of the multitasking skills, commitment to teamwork, and generosity of time and talent that we like to think Jim honed in his years at Williston Academy.

Jim’s record while a student paints a picture of the kind of kid who is “all in.” His efforts as a volunteer, including his role on this year’s 50th Reunion Committee show that Jim continues to demonstrate an exceptional commitment to our community.

In 2004, Jim received the Margaret French Eastman award, for his record of service as a Williston Northampton Fund volunteer. Tonight, I am honored to present him with the Distinguished Service Award.