On February 22, Williston will host its first Why Not Speak? (or WNS) Day. The community will gather to speak about our differences and similarities through the lens of varying perspectives, lifestyles, races, ethnicities, familial backgrounds, religions, socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations, cultures, gender identities, etc.
“It is a day to speak truthfully, listen intently, learn modestly, and engage respectfully,” according to Erin Davey, director of inclusion, who organized the event.
The Williston Northampton School inducted 12 students into the Cum Laude Society on January 6 in a ceremony in the Phillips Stevens Chapel. Corporate litigator Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’75 gave the keynote address.
Read about Ms. Sonnenfeld and see the names of the 12 inductees here.
Ann Blair Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’75, a corporate litigator, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Cum Laude induction ceremony on Friday, January 6.
Ms. Sonnenfeld attended Williston for two years as a boarding student, earning induction into Cum Laude in her senior year. After graduating from Williston, she earned a BA from Princeton University in 1979, and a JD summa cum laude from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984.
Ms. Sonnenfeld has gone on to a distinguished career in corporate and commercial litigation as a partner at Blank Rome LLP in Philadelphia. For the past six years, Ms. Sonnenfeld has been chair of the Board of Trustees of Agnes Irwin School, an all-girls independent school in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. She has served as chair of the Federal Courts Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and was appointed by U.S. Senators Toomey and Casey to serve on the judicial selection committee to fill six vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The following members of the Class of 2017 will be inducted into Williston Northampton’s Cum Laude Society:
Sima Gandevia of Hadley, MA
Zi Dong Gao of Beijing, China
Jin Young Lee of Seoul, Korea
Soma Mizobuchi of Kobe, Japan
Tomasz Paluchowski of Springfield, MA
Zachary Robbins of Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Jordan Sansone of Hanover, NH
Shengfu Shen of Tianjin, China
Jiaying Tang of Shanghai, China
Anna Wilinsky of Florence, MA
Emily Yeager of Easthampton, MA
Molly Zawacki of Easthampton, MA
Inducted students and their parents will be invited to attend a reception immediately following the 8:30 a.m. assembly at the home of Head of School Bob and Kathryn Hill.
The Cum Laude Society, founded in 1906 and modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, honors scholastic achievement in secondary scholars. The society has over 350 chapters, the majority of which are in independent schools. In 1921, Williston Academy became a member of the society, followed by Northampton School for Girls in 1951. In 1971, a new charter was created for the Williston Northampton School.
In the bleak midwinter there’s something uplifting about coming together to sing and play music. And that’s just what will happen in the Phillips Stevens Chapel on Friday, January 20, at 7 p.m. when Williston brings back a tradition of an evening of song for the Winter Warmer Concert.
Student singing groups, instrumental groups, and solo musicians will present traditional and contemporary tunes for the extended Easthampton community. All are welcome, and admission is by donation. Proceeds will be used to buy cots and blankets for the Easthampton Community Center. See the Facebook event here.
Williston Northampton School donated bedding to the Easthampton Community Center last week, a donation that, according to the center’s executive director Robin Bialecki, will impact many local families.
“We serve around 1,100 families, so around 3,500 people use our services each week,” she said. “Everyone’s trying to keep the heat down, so having an extra blanket really helps.”
Ann Truehart and Loretta Gougeon of the Williston Advancement Office packed and delivered four SUV-loads of 144 pillows, 117 blankets, and 55 bedspreads to the center. “They were gratefully received. We can’t thank Williston enough for thinking of us,” Bialecki said.
Bialecki said she was able to send eight sets of pillows and blankets to the cot shelter at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Easthampton. She’s also been offering one set to each family who visits the center, and predicted she will run out by the end of the week. “It’s delightful to see this donation affecting so many,” she said.