Hold on to your Samuel Williston top hats! This year’s Founders Day is shaping up to be even bigger and better than last year’s: If 500 donors make a gift to the Williston Northampton Fund or Parents’ Fund on February 22, a group of anonymous donors is going to give the school $50,000.
The day, which is a way to honor the founding of Williston Academy by Samuel and Emily Williston, as well as the Northampton School for Girls by Sarah Whitaker and Dorothy Bement, kicked off last year to celebrate the school’s 175th anniversary.
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.