How do you like coming back for reunions—your fiftieth in particular?
I’ve been to eight of ten reunions, as has my wife (maybe a spouse record), and I have always enjoyed them. We had a higher turnout this year and it was great to see classmates who had never been to a reunion or only attended one or two in the past. And it’s always nice to be on the beautiful campus in the spring.
You had previously come to campus to see classes. How was that?
The gift committee was thinking about contributing to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program for our class gift, so Pete Fraser and I visited and sat in on some IB classes. I was familiar with the program because my two sons participated in it. But there were elements I wasn’t aware of—particularly that it is designed not just for top students but as an across-the-board curriculum for the junior and senior years. That inclusiveness made it more appropriate for the class gift.
On our visit, Pete and I were struck by how outstanding the students are. They’re comfortable with adults and much more sophisticated than we were. I was especially impressed by the high level of the post-calculus math class and by the mature discussion of the Great Gatsby in the English class.
What else did you do like about being on the reunion committee?
I enjoyed making phone calls to encourage people to come. I’ve done this for several reunions, and it’s always rewarding. I was shy at George School, but even when I call people I barely knew then, they always seem eager to talk.
How do you—and your classmates—feel about your class gift?
At the fifty-year mark, most of us look back at our time at George School as a positive experience in our lives, so we’d like to make a donation. We decided to fund an endowment to enable more teachers to get trained for the IB program each year. It’s not as concrete as a bricks and mortar project, but it is a program important to George School and consistent with the school’s values.
More about Walter:
Walter lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Leslie. Since retiring from a career as a consulting actuary, he has enjoyed traveling, taking art lessons, and bicycling. Walter’s mother and three children all attended George School and were/are faithful reunion-goers, too.
* Especially for milestone reunions like Walter’s, classes often unite to make a significant and meaningful gift to capital improvements or endowment, whose impact lasts for years.