Category Archives: Alumni Events

Williston heads West

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 Fraimg_0785ncisco, 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.file3








  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





Alumni Visit for College Panel, Basketball Game

This past Saturday, we held two alumni events on campus, which made for a fun day.

young-alumni-college-counseling-panel_24234270131_oThe day started off with a panel discussion, led by Director of College Counseling Tim Cheney and featuring nine young alumni. Collectively, they represented eight different colleges and universities: Yale, Wesleyan, Northeastern, Smith, Connecticut College, Hobart William Smith, Davidson and Boston College.

As students in either their first or second years at college, the alumni came back to speak with young-alumni-college-counseling-panel_23688569844_oour current juniors and seniors about their experiences, particularly with college selection process. The group— Henry Lombino, Brendan Hellweg, Cameron Hill, Elyssa Katz, Brittany Collins, Hannah King, Loren Po, Marie Innarelli, Jenna Phelan—spoke for almost two hours on a variety of college-related topics.

The panel told their audience of more than 30 students and 10 faculty to trust the college counselors, adding that they know what they are talking about. Among the other interesting points the panel made:

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Boston Social Networking Event in Alibi Bar and Lounge

This was a nice little event at Boston’s Liberty Hotel on October 6. Originally the jail house for Boston, it was converted into a hotel with three bars/lounges in 2007. They tried to keep the jail house feeling with bars on the windows and much of the original floorplan. A very cool setting, which several alumni commented on.

We had access to the outdoor patio and the weather was nice enough that most people (there were almost 60 registered) opted to be outside. The alumni ranged from the majority in the 2000s to Peter Holleran, who was representing the Class of 1959.

The event began with an intro to 175th Anniversary events. Then representatives from EverTrue gave a talk about the app and circulated to answer questions. All the participants received a 175th pint glass.

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Fall Wildcat North Dinner in Mystic, CT

FullSizeRenderMy wife Karin and I travelled down to Mystic, CT for the annual Fall Wildcat North dinner. Cocktail hour was nice as people circulated and I was able to meet just about everyone. (There were a total of 27 people present.) The dinner was at the Harbour House Restaurant at the Inn at Mystic. There was a big wedding party going on in the next room and there was no way to completely shut off the room. As a result, there was a good bit of noise, making conversations tough.

FullSizeRender[3]I talked about the 175th, Reunion, the galas and the new Bulletin (they loved the piece on Sarah as well as the “lost Williston” article, saying “it wasn’t lost when we were there so that just means we are getting old!”). The evening was a lot of fun. We all loved playing the “who was still teaching at Williston from our era when you were a student?” game. We talked a lot about Red Culver (my math teacher), Couchie, Rick Francis, David Stevens (my 10th Grade English teach), Steve Seybolt (their classmate and my 12th Grade English teacher), and Carpie

FullSizeRender[2]Charlie and Joanne Pinnell Jr. ’59 flew in from Seattle. Charlie is in law, while Joanne worked with street kids and teenage pregnancies. Gene Pfeifer ’58, who was there, is also in law, as the partner in the fifth largest law firm in the world. He is originally from Springfield, MA and was going up to visit his sister, so I invited him to come over to Williston for a tour. He said he has walked around informally about five years ago and was impressed how much nicer the campus was from when they were students. Gene has a daughter who lives in Utah so he goes out there from November to January and does a ton of skiing. He says, “I’m a New Englander by birth but I only ski Western snow.” Gene played ice hockey here and we talked about playing on the pond.

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Baking and Brews: A Day with Alumni in Vermont

By Brittany Weiss, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

IMG_2200 (1)It’s after 4:45 p.m. on Friday, April 10 and we just finished up at Harpoon Brewery after a great day with Williston Northampton alumni!

We kicked off the day in Vermont with a baking class at King Arthur Flour, where 10 alumni took a class on how to make authentic spicy chickpea and chorizo empanadas.

The baking class was a fantastic experience. It was extremely well-taught, which made it incredibly user friendly, regardless of your experience level. I encourage everyone to try their hand at it if you are ever up in the Norwich, VT area. King Arthur Flour is a fantastic employee-owned business offering baking classes, a storefront, and cafe. Everyone LOVED their hand-made empanadas, which were delicious.

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