Donald Bansen ’39

Fit for the Future Donor
“I’ve stayed up on George School. I read practically everything in the Georgian, and I’m very pleased to know that the school is doing so well.”

How do you look back on your time at George School?

George School was an excellent place to spend the years when we were developing. Certainly it gave me a good start in life. And there were some great teachers, including Bob Brown, who taught woodshop. I think he was a photographer, too. I got interested in photography and took quite a few interesting pictures. I donated my photo album to the archives.

How have you kept in touch with the school over the years?

I’ve stayed up on George School. I read practically everything in the Georgian, and I’m very pleased to know that the school is doing so well. I also go back for reunions. After I married, I would go back every five years and renew friendships. This spring I attended my seventy-fifth reunion. I went into Drayton to see if my old room was still there, but it’s been taken out and made into a recreation room. So many buildings have been added since I went to George School. It is changing, probably for the best.

You’ve been a consistent Annual Fund and reunion donor, but recently you made a leadership gift to the new Fitness and Athletics Center’s wrestling room in honor of Stan Sutton. Why?

Over the years, I’d thought of giving more to George School. This was a good chance to do something concrete. I just happened to have some stock that had appreciated quite well. Instead of having a big capital gain, I donated it to George School. When I came to George School, Stan Sutton was the athletic director for a long time and was well-known and appreciated by most all the boys. I have a lot of respect for him. His intent was for me to do a lot of running but I played goalie thus defeating his good plan.

More about Donald:

From a Quaker family, Don wasn’t the only member to attend George School. (His mother, uncle, cousin, sister, and brother did, too.) Afterwards, Don went to Rising Sun School of Aeronautics and became an airplane mechanic. He worked for Pan Am and lived in Farmingdale, Long Island, for just short of forty years. After retiring in 1980, he moved to Bradenton, Florida, where he is an avid bird-watcher, receiving the Great Egret Award for his longtime work for the local Audubon chapter. Don has had two wives, who have predeceased him.