For Julie Spears ’97, giving back to George School is personal. When reflecting on her time on campus, Julie feels that it was her positive experience and opportunity to grow that calls her to give back each year and support the institution that supported her. She believes giving back is her responsibility. Her support creates opportunities for others and access to the same formative experience she had, regardless of the means they were born into.
George School is the place that shaped the foundation of Julie’s adult years. She strongly believes that the adolescent years are a crossroads that define the trajectory of early adulthood. “They are the years that can make or break you.” The workload, challenge, rigor, friendships, Quaker values, outdoor beauty, and the community all played a huge role in Julie’s life on campus and influenced the direction of her life after George School.
For these reasons, Julie embraced the annual tradition of giving to George School soon after her college graduation. She loved getting sticky buns in the mail for the first time upon joining the Sticky Bun Society and has worked with her husband to make giving back a regular family pursuit.
Julie learned philanthropy from her father who instilled the importance of giving by encouraging Julie and her siblings to think about what is important to them and follow that as a philanthropic guide. Julie’s gift supports financial aid because she valued her experience of learning among a range of people from different walks of life and the inclusive and open nature of George School. Philanthropy opens access to those who may not be able to afford tuition at George School. Julie said, “selfishly, it makes me feel good to be helpful.”
To her fellow alumni Julie offers this, “If you feel George School helped shape you in a positive way and if you feel it was a meaningful experience for you to have been a student there—if your George School experience still resonates with you as a you reflect back on your life—then consider it as a place to give back.”