Sunshine, warm weather and enthusiastic alumni welcomed Williston Northampton to the west coast for events on November 10 in San Francisco and November 13 in Los Angeles. Thank you to all who joined us. We hope you enjoyed catching up with classmates and friends, networking with alumni and hearing from Head of School, Robert W. Hill III, about all that has been happening on campus. For those of you who weren’t able to join us this time, here’s some of the news that was shared:
- Williston’s designation as a Microsoft Innovation School, recognizing our commitment to being in the forefront of classroom technology for students and faculty
- Changes in curriculum to meet the evolving needs of today’s students, including the Williston Scholars program. This initiative combines dedicated faculty oversight with resources available from the Five College consortium, encouraging Williston students to deeply explore a particular subject or passion
- Our ongoing commitment to attracting and retaining an exceptional faculty, with significant resources directed toward faculty professional development
- Updates on implementing priorities identified in the 2014 Strategic Plan
- The inaugural visiting artist made possible through the Grum Project, funded by a generous five-year grant from an NSFG ’65 alumna
- The success of last year’s fundraising efforts: Thanks to you, the Williston Northampton Fund raised over $1.7 million from more than 2,500 donors, providing resources that have an immediate impact on Williston’s highest priorities and most important initiatives! Your investment each and every year really makes a difference for Williston students.
In San Francisco, the Weinstein Gallery provided a beautiful venue for an evening of fine art, exceptional wine, and excellent company. Host David Connolly ’83 provided a selection of some of his favorite wines from Northern California vineyards which alumni from the classes of 2003 to 1957 enjoyed with a delicious menu from Hugh Groman Catering.
Hugh’s father, Phil Groman ’57, attended the event. And classmate John Houghton was also on hand to represent ’57 as they head into their 60th reunion year!
Alex Teece ’06, who has founded a charter school in Hawaii, slated to open in September 2018, happened to be in San Francisco for the month and caught up with Elizabeth Litwin ’06, Meg Litwin ’04, Joe Cavallaro ’03, Ben Minkowsky ’02, and Limmy Lee ’01.
Other alumni attending included: Lisa Bodine ’77, Julius Pryor ’73, Yiao-Tee Hsia ’71 and Charles Johnson ’68. The ’80s made a good showing as Merry Ross ’82, Jessica Herbold ’81 and (prom dates!) Ben Carlson ’81 and Virginia Barrett ’81 reminisced about their experiences in theater.
Bidding farewell to the beautiful city by the bay, Williston headed south to Los Angeles and The Viceroy Santa Monica, where host Cliff Selbert ’73 welcomed a group of alumni from the classes of 1947 to 2012 — and even a future wildcat!
Alumni working in the entertainment industry, design, finance, medicine and technology caught up over mimosas, coffee, and brunch. Frances “Bunny” Feurer ’47 compared notes with Carol Boyd ’69, who brought yearbooks and photos from her years at NFSG. Pat Bone ’65 and her husband Steve also attended. It was good to see Brian Studwell ’59 who runs a lawn bowling club (@SantaMonicaLawnBowling on Facebook) and Ben Haller ’61.
Other guests included classmates Michael Hirsch and Andrew Wooden, both class of ’73, Cedric Evans ’81, Valli Thornton ’82, Gary Goldman ’83, and Brooks Fleming ’89.
Sisters Serra ’00 and Belis ’97 Aladag reminisced about being at Williston together, and caught up with east coast expat Steve Porter ’97. Michael Bowles ’99 and Sheree Shu ’98 rounded out the crowd from the ’90s.
The decade of the ’00s was well represented with Raffy Cortina ’09, who is working in film and writing a screenplay. Mickey Meyer ’03 and Ceanna Ellner ’04 who also work in the world of entertainment (Hey, it’s LA, after all!) Ellen Messer ’07 won the prize for best effort to attend; she had just flown in from a conference in DC that morning and stopped by on her way home from the airport! The most recent Williston grad, Adrian Mendoza ’12 is finishing his last semester at USC and plans to go into the video game industry.
We had a wonderful time with all of you! And we hope you had a great time reconnecting and making new connections. We look forward to seeing even more west coast Willistonians at our next event! In the meantime, keep up with alumni news by liking The Williston Northampton Alumni Facebook page, joining The Williston Northampton School Alumni LinkedIn page and visiting our alumni events home page. Upcoming events are scheduled for NYC (12/7) and Boston (12/13), So if you happen to be traveling to a city where we are hosting an event, we’d love to see you. Simply let us know you are planning to attend by sending a message to RSVP@williston.com.