Donor Stories

These stories were featured in past NMH publications. You'll be inspired.

David F. Bolger ’50
Edward Batchelder ’31
Allison Boyd ’03
Charles Drummey ’50
Chip Elliott ’72
Andy Estoclet ’72
Barton Ferris ’58
Barbara Tweedle Freedman ’66
Doris Frohock
Juan Garcia ’91
Evelyn and Jay Haberland ’68
Mary Senter Hart ’55
Peggy Hill ’50
Jay Kaplan ’72
Stan King ’55
Robert MacKinnon ’53
Judith Moody ’55
Stuart R. Patterson ’75
Wayne and Betty Pyeatt 
William R. Rhodes ’53
Peter and Judy Schurman ’48
William Shea ’72
Thatcher Stone '73
Ann Tenenbaum '79
Dick and Joy Unsworth ’45
Justin Wai ’02

David F. Bolger ’50
A True Philanthropist
NMH Magazine, winter 2006
 
After David Bolger ’50’s first semester at Mount Hermon, the assistant headmaster sent his parents a letter. “We don’t think David has any chance of success here,” was the gist of it. “We suggest you save your money and keep him home after Christmas.”

Talk about miscalculations. The hard-working Bolger went on to phenomenal success in real estate and investment banking. Founder and president of Bolger and Co., Inc., he’s also chairman and sole stockholder of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in Boise, Idaho.

Above all, Bolger is a philanthropist. His causes are far-flung, numerous, and highly specific. “It doesn’t interest me to give to the United Way because I can’t make an impact on people’s lives…and that’s what I’ve got to do.” His gifts range from funding a hospital emergency room to buying land for a therapeutic riding center to reviving a struggling Iowa college.

Bolger has also given unstintingly to NMH. Principal donor for Bolger Arts Center in Northfield, Bolger underwrote renovations to a Beveridge classroom, Memorial Chapel, the Birthplace, and the Auditorium. He and Richard Gilder ’50 led a class gift of $5 million to renovate Alumni Hall. Bolger established a scholarship for students from working-class families, and most recently he gave $500,000 toward NMH’s transition to one campus, $10,000 to the Gulf Coast Scholars Fund, and $147,000 to replace the sidewalks that connect Memorial Chapel, Ford Cottage, and Alumni Hall.

Why does he keep giving so much to so many? “I’m not a golfer, not a pilot, not a sailor,” he says. “I play tennis once in a while. Philanthropy gives me a big thrill.”

 

Edward Batchelder ’31
A Simple Twist of Fate 
NMH Gift Report, 2004–05
 
“When it came time to look fate in the face, I wanted to make sure my money did some good somewhere,” says Edward Batchelder ’31 of his recent decision to give $1 million to NMH through his estate plan. Now a spry nonogenerian living in Vero Beach, Florida, he’d lost touch with NMH over the decades—but he’d never forgotten how it changed his life.

Ed was orphaned at the age of three, along with five siblings, after both his parents died of pneumonia. Sent to live with an impoverished cousin in his native Massachusetts, he went to a high school he was unhappy with and faced a bleakly uncertain future. When a relative recommended Mount Hermon, the wheels began to turn: one of Ed’s sisters, who’d been placed with a wealthy uncle, contributed $300 toward his education, and Mount Hermon footed the rest of the bill.

The two years he spent at Mount Hermon prepared him to attend Boston University, find employment during the Great Depression, rise through the insurance-industry ranks, and work for the United States military as a management engineer. “Mount Hermon was a turning point,” he says. “Before then, I didn’t know where I was going to go. I was pretty hopeless.”

More than 70 years later, Ed had his tete-a-tete with fate, which led him to send an e-mail to Senior Gift Planning Advisor Marvin Kelley ’60: "…I am exploring the viability of bequeathing provision for a scholarship program restricted to promising but destitute orphans (like I was)…As I am too fast approaching the age of 93, the wait should not be very long (although I admit I will work to prolong it)."

Marvin called to chat and was left nearly speechless when he learned that Ed wanted to give the remarkable sum of $1 million to NMH. Within a short period of time, they’d worked together to create the Edward S. Batchelder Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will aid students “who are orphaned or otherwise living without financial support through abandonment or neglect.” In other words, the scholarship will provide for orphans as well as young people who are living in a foster home or with relatives because their parents can’t properly care for them. At Ed’s request, all scholarship recipients are encouraged to repay the fund when they are financially able so they can help perpetuate it and know the satisfaction of giving back.

It’s a feeling he knows well indeed.

 

Allison Boyd ’03
Home Is Where NMH Is 
NMH Magazine, fall 2005
 
Allison Boyd ’03 keeps coming back and giving back to NMH. She’s worked at Reunion Weekend for the past five years; when she worked on campus this June, she asked NMH to deduct a gift to the NMH Fund from her paycheck. She’s given to the NMH Fund three years in a row and is now a member of the Bridge Society.

As a student caller during her years at NMH, she raised thousands of dollars for the school through phonathons. Allison returned to campus this May as a guest performer with the NMH Dance Company, which presented a concert dedicated to the spirit of the Northfield campus. She performed “Gorgeous Goodbyes,” a piece she choreographed herself.

During her four years at NMH, Allison took part in dance, choir, and track, and studied in Costa Rica. She says she’ll never forget Northfield Mount Hermon. “It was home to four of the most exciting, challenging, and memorable years of my life.” Allison isn’t sure where she’ll be in June 2006, but if she’s anywhere near western Massachusetts, she’ll be working at reunion—because, she says, “it’s always nice to come home.”

 

Charles Drummey ’50
Repaying a Debt of Gratitude 
Profile on planned giving website
 
Charles Drummey '50 is an estate planning attorney, so he knew better than most how best to benefit both his estate and his alma mater. He's designated a $25,000 distribution from an individual retirement account (IRA) to be given to Northfield Mount Hermon School after his death.

That $25,000 gift, to be added to the endowment or to a scholarship fund named for a favorite teacher, can be expected to produce $1,000 per year for the school, and there should be enough additional investment return so that the $25,000 grows to offset future inflation. Thus, because of Charlie's gift, NMH will have $1,000 per year, adjusted for inflation, forever. If that same $25,000 were given to family, he adds, income and death taxes could consume more than half of the sum.

Charlie, a long time partner at a law firm in Hartford, has been an active alumnus, helping to organize reunions and to raise money and by consistent financial support. He was President of the Mount Hermon Class of 1950 and has remained in that role~ever since. He and Northfield 1950 grad Jane Sisson Sibley were elected Co-Presidents at their 55th reunion last year.

A scholarship student himself, he feels he owes a debt to NMH that he's slowing repaying. "My four years at NMH had a huge impact on me," he says.~"I believe I would have missed out on many of the most important opportunities, challenges and satisfactions of my~life without that impact."~ He continues, "I feel a strong obligation to support NMH, and I am happy to do so."

 

Chip Elliott ’72
The Circle of Giving 
NMH Magazine, spring 2006
 
Chip Elliott ’72 still recalls the near-perfect freehand circles Bob Weis drew on the chalkboard as he taught math class. “That one feat astonished and impressed even the dullest, sleepiest student,” he says. “Mr. Weis taught me the ways of the wily cosine and, with great kindness, opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t already know everything.”

This spring Chip established an endowed fund for faculty support in the name of Bob and his wife, Mary, who often invited students for dinner at their house. “I can’t think of any more heartfelt way to say ‘thank you,’” explains Chip. “We don’t forget our best teachers.”

These days Chip is principal engineer at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts; he recently led the team that built and operates the world’s first quantum cryptography network. The Weises left NMH in 1993 and live in Dublin, New Hampshire. They attend Reunion Weekend every year, where they’ve seen Chip briefly at his reunions. His gift in their name came as a total surprise. Says Bob, “I don’t know how anybody could anticipate such a thing. It’s a huge honor.”

And so there’s symmetry to the story: a teacher bestows the gift of learning, and his former student makes a gift in return. It’s a near-perfect circle.”

 

Andy Estoclet ’72
Taking the Bull by the Horns 
NMH Gift Report, 2003–04
 
Andy Estoclet ’72 sat up and took note when he heard NMH was becoming a smaller school on one campus. “I was excited that someone was taking the bull by the horns,” he says. “I thought it was a good business move that would add to the quality of the NMH experience and ensure the school’s longevity.”

Estoclet knows a thing or two about business moves. He’s spent the last 20 years turning around famous-name companies, mostly in transportation and wholesale-retail liquidation, that had gotten themselves into operational and financial trouble. Invariably, the turnaround came through consolidating assets and significant restructuring. Estoclet’s most recent success stories include the Bekins Company in Chicago and Jacobs Trading Company in Minneapolis.

Although he loved his Mount Hermon experience, he ‘d lost touch with the school  over the years. The decision to consolidate reengaged his interest.
When he starting thinking about the move to one campus and reduced enrollment at the school, he figured there would be fewer opportunities for underprivileged students. So he put his money where his heart was: He established a $100,000 endowed scholarship fund that will allow needy students to attend NMH.

A self-made man—Estoclet started his career loading freight on a trucking dock in Trenton, New Jersey—he has a clear philosophy on giving back: “I was on scholarship when I went to NMH because my folks didn’t have the money. People have helped me out along the way, and it’s only appropriate that I do the same in return.

“For me, the NMH experience had nothing to do with how many campuses or students there were. I got to meet and interact with people of other cultures—it was a real-life place with real-life people, many of whom might not otherwise have had an opportunity to get a tremendous education.”

Thanks to Estoclet, more students will get that real-life opportunity.

 

Barton Ferris ’58
Banking on NMH’s Future
Profile on planned giving website
 
When Barton Ferris '58's mother packed him off to Mount Hermon in 1954, she had high hopes he would become a minister. Instead Bart found that mathematics spoke to him, and he eventually became a highly successful investment banker, working at such firms as Morgan Stanley, E. F. Hutton, and Advest. His mother-now 91-has long since let go of her ministerial dreams, but she is surely proud that Bart is transforming his success in banking into a gift to NMH.

Back in 2004, Bart gave NMH a $30,000 cash value whole life insurance policy he no longer needed. The gift is part of a $50,000 donation he plans to make at his 50th reunion. "I always intended to make a major gift at my fiftieth reunion, and this seemed the best way to start," he says. His planned gift has personal as well as philanthropic benefits: partly tax-deductible, it helped Bart offset gains made when he sold a house that year.

Bart, who is gift chair for the class of '58, was captain of the Mount Hermon undefeated cross-country team and a member of the wrestling and track teams; now, at 65, he still exercises every day. "The academics and sports at Mount Hermon helped shape me into the man I am today," he says. When it comes to how NMH still figures in his life, Bart is succinct. "The philosophy of the school is good: the head, the hand, the heart. I very much believe in it."

 

Barbara Tweedle Freedman ’66
Devotion to Giving and Serving 
Profile on planned giving website
 
Barbara Tweedle Freedman '66 is deeply devoted to Northfield Mount Hermon. A trustee since 2001, she's been a perpetual volunteer-from class reunion chair to phonathon caller to area association officer. Her devotion is also evident in her giving: She's included NMH in her will and established a charitable remainder unitrust.

Barbara received a substantial charitable deduction when she established the unitrust, and she receives yearly payments that increase with time.
"I decided to start the process while I'm still relatively young because it allows NMH to receive a larger gift in the future, and it lets me create an income stream that will grow appreciably in my lifetime," she says. "There was never any question that I would give to NMH-it was just a matter of when."

The school is full of history for Barbara-her mother, grandmother, uncle, and great uncle all attended. She says, "From the day I got here to the day I graduated, I knew I had found a home."

Barbara and her husband, Barry Freedman, run a textile brokerage firm in South Londonderry, Vermont, and she frequently makes the short trip to NMH for trustee meetings and other volunteer work. Excited by the transition to the Mount Hermon campus, she continues to be struck the school's history and potential. "The beauty of NMH to me is that it will always be there-for past and future generations. My contributions now and in years to come are a way to help perpetuate it."

 

Doris Frohock
A Gift of Love 
Profile on planned giving website
 
Doris Frohock came to know and love Northfield Mount Hermon through her late husband, Wallace Frohock '35. She attended his 55th and 60th reunions with him and became friends with his classmates, whom she calls "a great group of men."

To honor her husband's memory, Doris established a deferred-payment gift annuity in 2005. This gift provides her with a substantial tax break and lifetime annuity payments that begin at a future date of her choice. Doris opted to begin receiving money from her annuity in 2010. "I'm seventy-seven now, so I thought five years from now I may need the payments more than I do now. I wasn't going to press my luck and say ten years!" she says with a laugh.

Doris, who lives in Pennsylvania, met her husband in 1961; they were married for 32 years until his death in 1997. One of her fondest memories is returning to the Mount Hermon campus in 1995 for Wallace's 60th reunion. She recalls how everyone in the class of 1935 played "As the Saints Go Marching In" on green kazoos during the reunion parade-to the tune of a standing ovation.
Involved all her life with youth activities and a mother to two stepchildren, she's pleased to invest her money in education. "I believe in young people and I've always enjoyed working with them," she says. "It's a good way to help

 

Juan Garcia ’91
Dedicated Young Alum 
NMH Magazine, fall 2006
 
This June, when Juan Garcia ’91 won the Young Alumni Award for significant service to NMH, he was astonished—but his classmates weren’t. After all, Juan is a longtime gift cochair for his class, a member of the Alumni Association’s diversity committee, a key mover in the NMH-NYC area association, a phonathon volunteer, and a generous contributor to the school. His motivation for giving is as big as it gets: “It’s my small way of trying to save the world.”

Juan came to NMH from Texas in 1989; making the most of his two years on campus, he plunged into wrestling and academics and became a student leader. He went on to Trinity University and Georgetown law school (“Being a student leader in Hayden definitely got me on the road to law enforcement,” he jokes) and is now an associate specializing in mergers and acquisitions at the top-notch New York law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.

Juan is proud of his alumni award and equally proud to call himself an NMH alum. “NMH teaches you to test your assumptions and the assumptions of others,” he says. “You cannot spend time there without gaining insights.”

 

Evelyn and Jay Haberland ’68
Proud Parents, Committed Volunteers 
NMH Gift Report, 2004–05
 
Promoting Northfield Mount Hermon as parent volunteers comes naturally to Jay Haberland ’68 and his wife, Evelyn, proud parents of four-year senior Mark ’06.

“Since we really like the place, it’s very easy to say nice things about it,” says Jay, who is vice president of business controls for United Technologies.
The Haberlands are in their fourth year on the Parents Council, are active with the Parents Fund, and volunteer for school events. In February they sponsored a lecture and social gathering for alumni and others at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut; Jay is on the historic home’s board of trustees, and the Haberlands live in nearby Simsbury. Since 2003 they’ve hosted gatherings at their home with prospective students and their parents.

The couple recently arranged to buy new lacrosse uniforms after Jay, who played the sport at NMH, noticed the old uniforms were starting to look worn out. His support is motivated in part by the scholarships that allowed him and his brother, Dana ’65, to attend NMH. As for his wife, she’s fallen in love with the school, both because of its physical beauty and the growth she sees in Mark, whose NMH activities include disc jockeying, riding farm horses for his "workjob", and singing in Concert Choir. “He really has blossomed. It’s been a tremendous maturing experience for him,” says Jay.

He understands that some parents might balk at volunteering or making donations, given that it’s not inexpensive to attend NMH. However, he points out that tuition payments alone don’t cover the school’s needs. “You have to believe in this kind of education as one that’s worthy of contribution,” he says. “In order for these schools to keep going, they need support. The money we’ve given has not been huge by a lot of standards, but we feel it’s important to give as much as we can.”

 

Mary Senter Hart ’55
Persistently Hard-Working and Generous 
NMH Magazine, fall 2004
 
Persistence is surely one of Mary Senter Hart ’55’s greatest traits. At Northfield, she tried out every year for the choir, even though she wasn’t much of a singer. Each time she didn’t make the cut. Finally music director Al Raymond took pity on her and put her in chancel choir her senior year.

In 1982 she entered the work force after two decades as a stay-at-home mother. Despite a newly minted graduate degree, she was offered a job as secretary at Williston Northampton School. She took the position and before long was the school’s alumni director.

As cochair for her Northfield class’s 50th reunion, Mary has proven predictably tenacious. Given a list of more than 20 “lost” classmates, she followed every lead and found all but four of them. Meanwhile she’s been working behind the scenes for two years, coordinating the 2005 reunion, setting up committees, delegating, and working with the alumni relations office. Not much has changed: as a Northfield student, Mary served as junior class president and student leader.

She is an active volunteer in her community of Damariscotta, Maine, where she helped revive the Wavus Camps and served on both the hospital and YMCA boards. Mary has been an NMH Alumni Council member and reunion and class fundraising chair. She also contributes regularly and generously to the school, which her children, Joanne ’79 and John ’80 attended.

“I give because of my feelings for the place,” she explains. “The urge to volunteer is in my genes—but the foundation was laid at Northfield.”

 

Peggy Hill ’50
A Long-Standing Will and a Belief in Education 
Profile on planned giving website
 
When Margaret "Peggy" Hill '50 was in her 20s and taking a long trip with her parents, they got into a serious talk. Since Peggy was an only child, they wondered where their money should go if all three died together in plane crash. All of them agreed that an educational institution should be their beneficiary-in part because Peggy's father was an administrator at Cornell, and the Hills deeply believed in education.

Peggy suggested a will bequest intention on behalf of Northfield for a couple of reasons. "Northfield was a place where the peer pressure was to be a good citizen and good student, which I valued. Also, because this was a time when private women's education wasn't getting any bequests, what we might leave would mean more to Northfield than it would to Cornell."

Her parents agreed, and all three drew up wills saying that if none of the others was surviving, Northfield would be the beneficiary. Peggy has rewritten her will many times since then, but she's always kept NMH as her residual legatee.

"I've liked what Northfield Mount Hermon has done to change with the times," she says. "I admired the decision to go coeducational. I even more admired the very tough decision to consolidate to one campus."

Peggy, who attended Cornell and was an Agway executive for 37 years, lives in Ithaca, New York, and is an avid quilter. She keeps up-to-date on NMH and has great faith in its leadership. "My bequest is unrestricted because I want to balance out those restricted bequests in the best judgment of the people running the school. If they need it to redo the sidewalks, fine. If they want it for scholarships, great."

More than 40 years after she drew up her first will, Peggy's generous spirit remains intact.

 

Jay Kaplan ’72
Eyes on the Next Generation 
Profile on planned giving website
 
When he was an 18-year-old senior, Jay Kaplan '72 met the alumnus whose gift allowed him to attend NMH on a scholarship. That alumnus himself received financial aid through the generosity of those who came before him. Not only did Jay remember his benefactor's generosity, he emulated it: Jay has provided NMH with a $250,000 revocable trust upon his death.

Retired after selling a successful transportation business, Jay lives in Florida and recalls his time at NMH as a period of growth. "I had success and I had failures," he says. "I was challenged and I made mistakes. NMH opened up a whole new spectrum of experiences for me." His gift, which will be used for scholarships, allows a new generation of low-to-middle-income children to experience the same.

Jay regularly volunteers for NMH. Over the years he has served as vice chair of the alumni council, chair of the nominating committee, major gifts chair of the NMH Fund, and reunion planner. He attends reunions every five years and has been a regular participant in phonathons. "I stay connected," he says, "because of the impact NMH made in my life.

 

Stan King ’55
A King’s Ransom of Gifts 
Profile on planned giving website
 
Retired US Army colonel Stanley King '55 has given to NMH every year since he graduated-even when he was on active duty in Vietnam. His giving comes in the form of NMH Fund gifts and a charitable gift annuity. In fact, he has established two annuities: one in 1983 and one in 2005 as a 50th-reunion gift.

The most recent annuity came as a bit of a surprise to Stan himself. "My intention going into reunion was to make just the NMH Fund pledge. Then I got a reunion gift call from a classmate, which planted the guilt seed."
At the time, Stan was going through a lot: he'd recently lost his wife, Ann, and wasn't sure how he felt about NMH's 2004 decision to consolidate from two campuses to one.

After assessing the leadership and vision of the school, he decided to establish a second annuity-a decision that reaffirms his faith in NMH and carries substantial benefits for him.

"We older alums never know how the economy will fare and what health costs we'll have to bear. Given those circumstances, a charitable gift annuity is prudent because it provides immediate tax relief and a lifetime return on the investment," Stan says. "These provisions have allowed me to make much larger gifts to the school than I would have considered possible."

A former Alumni Council member, class gift chair, and class secretary, Stan remains deeply connected to NMH and plans to make a will provision on its behalf. Meanwhile, one thing is certain: he'll be writing a check to the NMH Fund for the 51st year in a row.

 

Robert MacKinnon ’53
Putting NMH First 
NMH Magazine, fall 2005
 
For Robert MacKinnon ’53, NMH comes first by a long shot in his charitable giving and volunteer service. “It’s my first priority, and there isn’t any real second,” he says.   A trustee since 1995 and a part-time resident of New Zealand, he regularly makes the 26- to 30-hour transcontinental flight to attend board meetings at NMH. In his first term as a trustee, MacKinnon led the successful opposition to a waste-disposal plant to be sited across from the Mount Hermon entrance. A partner at the New York City law firm Shearman and Sterling, MacKinnon worked pro bono to challenge the project, which he calls “probably the biggest threat to the existence of the school in the 1990s.”

In 2005, as chair of the development committee, MacKinnon solicited his fellow NMH trustees for contributions to the school. His hard work led to a collective pledge of nearly $7 million, including his own significant gift. Having helped make the decision to consolidate the school, he stands firmly behind it. “I think it’s important to support that decision by every means, until you give to the point that it hurts. And that’s what I have done.”

For MacKinnon, his time at Mount Hermon was formative in ways that his subsequent years at Yale University and Harvard Law School were not. His allegiance is coupled with practicality. “Yale has an endowment of $15 billion and Harvard has an endowment of $25 billion plus,” he points out. “I can’t make a difference at those places, but I can at NMH.”

MacKinnon’s twin brothers, Richard and William, are both members of the class of 1956, and his eldest granddaughter graduated in 2004. Another granddaughter entered NMH as a freshman this fall, and MacKinnon is proud of his role in shaping the school that she will experience. “The most gratifying part about serving on the board has been seeing the unfolding process of going to one campus, contributing to it in some individual way, and hopefully leaving the school a better place than I found it.”

 

Judith Moody ’55
A Different Kind of Moody Legacy 
NMH Gift Report, 2004–05
 
At 68 years old, Judith Moody ’55 is divesting herself of things she no longer needs and investing in causes she deeply cares about—like Northfield Mount Hermon. During the basement-cleaning phase of her divestment, she came across a Bible that Dwight L. Moody had given her father, signed “To my great-nephew George.” The Bible was a reminder of her deep connections to NMH.

Judy grew up in Springfield and Greenfield, Massachusetts, and came to NMH in 1953 after the sudden death of her father. Friends of the family, including the president of Northfield, stepped in to help with her education. What Judy remembers most from those years is the camaraderie among girls in her dorm and the realization that her emotions were no different from those of others. “We spent so much time sitting and talking, working things out in our minds,” she recalls. “We learned a lot from each other.”

She went on to Simmons College and a highly successful career in data processing that began at the Lockheed Corporation. After a decade in California, she moved back east and became a data-processing consultant. Next Judy joined Fidelity Investments and rode the wave of its stratospheric growth for 17 years, until she retired in 1998. Thanks to Fidelity’s profit-sharing and investment programs, she faced her financial future with confidence.

Judy provided generously for NMH in her will, but she wanted to do more. As 50th-reunion gift cochair, she helped raise $1.6 million for the Class of 1955 Scholarship Fund and contributed a five-figure sum to the cause. She also gave to the NMH Fund in 2005, as she does every year, in recognition of the school’s ongoing needs. With this three-tiered commitment to the school—a capital gift, an NMH Fund contribution, and a planned gift—Judy is supporting NMH a way she finds profoundly satisfying.

“Northfield Mount Hermon has so much to offer in putting the right things into a young person’s mind at the right time. It provides something for students that you just can’t get anywhere else.”

 

Stuart R. Patterson ’75
An Obligation to Give Back 
NMH Magazine, winter 2005
 
Stu Patterson ’75 learned a lasting lesson at NMH: If you work hard and apply yourself, your efforts return to you many times over. He’s been applying himself ever since, and his efforts have reaped exponential returns. In 1997 he was named president of SpeechWorks, a cutting-edge company offering speech-recognition technology—or, as Patterson puts it, “saving the world from touchtone.” SpeechWorks shot straight up in the high-tech bubble of the late ’90s and subsequently joined with Scansoft. Patterson served as president of the merged, 900-person company until March 2004, when he decided it was time to move on.

Patterson has done a lot of moving and growing in the past three decades. He attended Harvard, earned his MBA from Yale, and then plunged into the high-tech world, motivated by a knack for computers and an affinity for the business world.

Along the way, he’s never forgotten NMH and how it changed his life. He’s a strong supporter of the NMH Fund and has served as a phonathon caller. Recently he pledged a $100,000 gift to the school; he feels strongly that alumni like himself—whom he calls “blessed with good fortune financially”—have an obligation to give back to NMH so it can continue to change young lives.

When his nephew and godson, Nick Jandl ’03, chose to attend NMH, Patterson helped to pay the cost of his education.  “I talked to Nick’s mother a month ago, and she said, ‘Ever since NMH, Nick’s had much more confidence and willingness to follow his muse.’ That’s just what I was hoping NMH would give him.”

 

Wayne and Betty Pyeatt 
In Their Daughter’s Memory 
NMH Gift Report, 2004–05
 
Lynn Pyeatt ’74 spent only her senior year at Northfield Mount Hermon, yet she developed a deep affection for the school and its tradition of embracing diversity.

“It made a difference to her—and it makes a difference to us,” says her father, Wayne Pyeatt, a retired banker and college professor. “It was just a motivating, enlightening experience to her,” says her mother, Betty.

A transfer student from a public high school in Memphis, Tennessee, Lynn went on to earn acceptance to Smith College. Tragically, her bright future was snatched away when she was murdered during the summer following her freshman year at Smith.

“It was a terrible thing for us, but one of the greatest things in her life was that year at Northfield, and then the year at Smith,” her father says. The Pyeatts have yet to return to NMH since their daughter’s graduation. 

However, distance and the passage of time have not lessened their gratitude. Recently they committed $350,000 to the school’s humanities program, and they made a similar pledge to Smith. Their aim is to support NMH’s ability to graduate enlightened students from widely different backgrounds: graduates who will seek common ground when they encounter different cultures. “Hopefully they’ll help make this a better world,” says Betty.

She and her husband typically make gifts anonymously, but they made an exception this time in the hope of inspiring others. Wayne Pyeatt also leads by example as a member of the Memphis Rotary Club. Since 1978, the club has sponsored low-income public school students whose academic skills make them eligible to attend summer programs at private schools nationwide. Among the 90 sponsored this year were four students who went to NMH. One of them, a young girl, was so excited, recalls Wayne, that she talked to him about it nonstop.

This came as no surprise. He first experienced such a reaction to NMH decades ago—from his daughter. At the time, he and his wife saw the school as their gift to her. Now the memory of their daughter’s enthusiasm is the school’s gift to them.

“We carry that place in our hearts and in our minds,” he says. “All the time.”

 

William R. Rhodes ’53
A Record-Making Donor 
NMH Magazine, fall 2005
 
Bill Rhodes ’53 is a record maker in all kinds of ways: He’s been chair of the board of trustees for the longest period of anyone in recent history—11 years, to be exact. He recently pledged $2 million to NMH, his largest gift ever to the school.  He convinced South African president Thabo Mbeki, one of the most requested speakers in the world, to speak at NMH in 2002. He established a scholarship for South African students to attend NMH, and he’s a key donor to the NMH Fund. And those are just the broad strokes.

“It’s a sense of payback for what the school gave me,” says Rhodes of his philanthropy and service. “One’s life and character are very much formed by the years you have at a secondary school. That’s why the mission of NMH is so important.”

Rhodes, who ranks NMH first among his philanthropic causes, has served on the board of trustees since 1991, helping to steer the school through some demanding times. None was as tough as the decision to make NMH a smaller school on one campus. “It was quite a difficult decision, but I think the correct one. I believe time will prove that,” he says. “We still have a lot of challenges ahead. But I’ve often found in my life that challenge brings out the best in people.”

The fact that he finds time in his schedule for NMH bespeaks his deep commitment to it. As president and CEO of Citibank and senior vice chairman of Citigroup, Rhodes follows a brutal globe-trotting schedule. He’s been called “the field marshal of the international debt crisis” for his successful debt negotiations with such countries as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Korea. His work has put him shoulder to shoulder with US treasury secretaries, prime ministers, and presidents. He’s involved with numerous boards and committees, and serves as chair of the Americas Society, the Council of the Americas, the Hong Kong-US Business Council, and the Korea-US Business Council, as well as first vice chair of the Institute of International Finance. He sits on the board of Brown University’s Watson Institute, which awarded him an honorary doctorate this spring.

In May 2006, Rhodes will step down from his historic tenure as chairman of the NMH Board of Trustees, a tenure he extended in order to see the school through this critical period of change. His association with NMH is part of a legacy: his father, Edward Rhodes ’16, and his classmates built the brick pillars that flank the Mount Hermon campus entrance. Nearly one hundred years later, Bill Rhodes is also creating gateways for education.

 

Peter and Judy Schurman ’48
In Praise of Scholars 
NMH Gift Report, 2002–03
 
Every spring Peter and Judy Schurman ’48 drive to campus from their Connecticut home to take the Schurman Scholars out to dinner. That night one senior scholar gets to choose the restaurant where the group will dine. Not a bad deal: a meal at the eating establishment of your choice and a scholarship too.

The Schurmans established a scholarship fund in their name in 1973. Thirty years and more than 40 scholars later, the Schurman Scholars Fund—which provides financial aid to three to four NMH students a year—is going strong. Now worth about $1 million, the fund is benefiting from the Schurmans’ newest provisions. They’ve established eight charitable lead trusts, one for each of their grandchildren, and five of the trusts supply income to the scholars program.

One reason the Schurmans established the lead trusts was to give their grandchildren experience in stewardship. Each grandchild determines how and where to charitably distribute a portion of her or his trust. “We’re deeply concerned with the possible adverse effects of ‘too much, too soon,’” says Peter. “This way we pass along capital resources to our grandchildren, but not so early in their lives as to dull their motivations to work steadily and intensely to achieve success.”

The Schurmans and NMH share a good deal of history. Their son, Mark ’71, and daughter, Jane ’78, are graduates, as is granddaughter Megan Womer ’02. Their grandson, Russell Womer ’05, is starting his third year. Peter was an NMH trustee from 1979 to 1989 and is an honorary member of the class of 1988—and, of course, Judy graduated from Northfield in 1948.

For the Schurmans, who are retired but do considerable volunteer work, the act of giving to NMH carries its own reward. “We think NMH is a special place that teaches special values,” says Peter, “and we take particular satisfaction from being able to make this experience available to young people who otherwise might not be able to enjoy it.”

 

William Shea ’72
Entrepreneur with a Cause 
NMH Magazine, fall 2005
 
Bill Shea ’72 joined the board of trustees in 2002, just in time to plunge into the intensive studies that led to the decision to consolidate the campuses. He has no doubt that it was the right call—and he also knows that developing NMH on one campus will require considerable financial resources.

An entrepreneur in the transportation-leasing business, Shea has committed more than $1 million to NMH through a charitable lead trust he established to benefit educational institutions and children’s charities. Choosing beneficiaries for the trust is a family affair, which gave Shea a chance to tell his two children about his experience at NMH. “They have a much better appreciation of what NMH meant to their dad and why I feel so strongly about supporting educational institutions,” says Shea, who received financial aid as a student here.

As chair of the development and alumni relations committee, Shea will be testing a $100 million goal for new facilities, financial aid, endowment, and salaries. “We’ve asked each trustee to make NMH the recipient of one of their three largest charitable gifts annually,” he says. “I would ask each NMH alum to consider supporting the school in a similar manner.”

Under the auspices of the building and grounds committee, he also serves as cochair of the fine arts facility project. In the last year, the committee has selected an architect, developed a budget, and is now finalizing a building design.

What he relishes most is what’s yet to come. “The school has a very clear vision of the future as a result of the decision to move to one campus,” he says. “I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

 

Thatcher Stone ’73
A Room of One’s Own 
NMH Gift Report, 2004-05
 
Thatcher Stone will never forget the sacrifices his mother made for him and his brother. Widowed before she was 40, Lillian Stone raised two young sons while working tirelessly as one of the country ’s first female chemical and nuclear engineers. To honor her and to give back to the school that taught him enduring values, Thatcher recently made a $25,000 gift in support of NMH’s new cottage-style dormitories. In turn, a room in one of the dorms will bear the name of Lillian K. Stone.

“She gets it,” Thatcher says of his mother’s reaction to this gift for posterity. “She is pretty moved.”

Giving back is deeply woven into the Stone family history. Thatcher’s great uncle, Julius Stone, helped start the Jimmy Fund; his cousin, Cynthia Stone Creem, has worked on behalf of the people of Massachusetts as a legislator and Governor’s Council member. Stone has given generously to his alma mater, the University of Virginia Law School; its formal dining room is named for his father, and at the dedication in 2002 Stone promised his mother he would endow a space for her at Northfield Mount Hermon.

“There is a profound satisfaction in giving back to the institutions that educated you,” says Thatcher. “I’ve had great moments of pleasure in announcing various gifts at Virginia, and I’m very happy to be now making a gift to NMH.”

At NMH, Thatcher was deeply influenced by house director Jeff Lenn, whom he describes as “a positive force of reason, tolerance, and dialogue. Above all he, he taught me how to listen and how to be fair.”  Those skills have served Thatcher well in his work as a structured-finance attorney in the New York City firm of Alston and Bird. 

Asked if he plans to visit the room dedicated to his mother, Thatcher replies, “I might, but I’d be more interested in knowing that the young men or women there realize how lucky they are to get the kind of education they are receiving.”

 

Ann Tenenbaum ’79
A Gift of Belief 
NMH Magazine, fall 2005
 
Ann Tenenbaum ’79 feels strongly that going from two campuses to one is the right thing to do. To back up that belief, she and her husband, businessman Tom Lee, contributed $1 million to NMH. Tenenbaum made her gift soon after the trustees made their announcement in January 2004, and her wholehearted support gave weight and momentum to the decision at a time when many alumni were still absorbing it.

Tenenbaum joined the board of trustees in May 2005, believing she could be of use during this time of transformation. She fully subscribes to NMH’s mission and core values, and sees the transition to one campus as vital to preserving both. With two sisters who are alumni—Margot ’84 and Alison ’88—she has strong family connections to the school.

A full-time parent, patron of the arts, and member of many boards, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Sarah Lawrence College, Tenenbaum works closely with her husband on philanthropic enterprises. Described as generous and remarkably focused, the New York-based couple supports numerous cultural and educational institutions.

Tenenbaum’s gift to NMH was formally announced at her 25th reunion in June 2004. Although she preferred not to be in the limelight, she agreed to make her gift public in the hopes of inspiring others to give—another act of generosity in an already long list.

 

Dick and Joy Unsworth ’45
Giving Back 
NMH Magazine, fall 2007
 
“I wish that more people who want to give a building—or a room or a desk or whatever—would lay a faculty member’s name on it, because they are the heart of the school.”

When former NMH headmaster Dick Unsworth ’45 and his wife, Joy ’45, received a brochure on the new arts center last winter, they looked at sketches of the choral rehearsal hall—known as the “jewel box” for its faceted shape—and said the same thing: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to name it for Sheila?”

They were talking about longtime friend and former colleague Sheila Heffernon, director of the NMH Music Program. The Unsworths knew that she would be conducting her 25th Sacred Concert in May—a perfect occasion to announce a gift in her honor. Their chosen timeline gave them less than four months to raise the $1.5 million required.

Working closely with Chief Advancement Officer Allyson Goodwin ’83, the Unsworths helped to rally 11 others to the cause. The fundraising happened in utmost secrecy; Sheila learned of the gift at a party in her honor the night before Sacred Concert. Dick says, “She dropped her jaw, fell over on me weeping, and then, in typical Sheila fashion, she got up to the microphone and made the most wonderful talk.”

The next day at Sacred Concert, Sheila conducted, Dick played double bass, and Joy sat in the audience while music filled the Auditorium—the kind of rich, vibrant notes that will soon resonate in the jewel box that bears Sheila’s name.

 

Justin Wai ’02
Strengthening NMH Ties in Hong Kong 
NMH Gift Report, 2003–04
 
There ’s an ancient Chinese saying: Remember the source of the water you drink.

For Justin Wai ’02, NMH has provided countless good things in his life, and that’s why he gives back. He’ll always remember the source. “Attending NMH is the best choice I’ve made and the greatest blessing in my life so far,” he says simply. He credits the school with teaching him independent thinking, leadership qualities, and social responsibility.

All are evident in the work he’s done on behalf of NMH. He started an area association in his native Hong Kong, putting together a proposal and then pitching it to the NMH administration. Working with Bernard Lam’02, Samson Cheng ’03, Charis Law ’03, Jodi Lee ’03, and Olivia Liang ’03, he made it happen. NMH-Hong Kong now holds alumni reunions, alumni-student gatherings, admission receptions, and send-off parties for new students.

“I started the Hong Kong alumni club because I didn’t have the ability to support the school financially,” he explains. “Instead of contributing to the school’s endowment, my support revolves around community development.”

At NMH, Wai was cofounder and cochair of the Chinese Student Association and a student leader. Now a college sophomore, he’s studying hotel development at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. His dream is to develop a vacation destination in the Fujian province in China, famous for its Oolong tea. Given his determination and the skills NMH fostered in him, reservations will surely be available soon.