As The White Mountain School transitions over from the 2016-2017 fiscal year and looks towards next year, we wanted to take a look at one of the main driving forces of our School’s success – the generosity of generations of alumnae/i, families and friends of White Mountain.
Philanthropy has a long history at The White Mountain School. In fact, it predates our founding as St. Mary’s School for Girls in 1886. Our first gift? $10,000 given by Mrs. A.B.B. Tilton of Tilton, NH, equivalent to about $250,000 today, to purchase a three-story Victorian mansion on the corner of Fayette Street and South Main Street in Concord for use as our primary facility.
Soon after our founding, an Alumnae Association was established to connect the graduates to each other and provide financial support to the School. By 1910, this group of women successfully raised $2,500 for the endowment with an additional $5,000 pledged. It was also in 1910 that St. Mary’s appointed its first alumna, Harriet Hall ‘88, to the Board of Trustees.
As the years went on and St. Mary’s School, led by fourth Principal, Dorothy McLane, looked to the future, a plan was made to move the School to the White Mountains. Encouraged by a bequest of $30,000 from Elizabeth Marshall Page ‘99, the Trustees made the decision in 1936 to enter into negotiations to purchase the Seven Springs Estate in Bethlehem, NH, where our School stands today.
As our School grew and needs changed, new buildings were built around campus. Our name changed twice – from St. Mary’s School to St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains to The White Mountain School. Dormitories, classrooms and other facilities were all built thanks to the generosity of countless alumnae/i, families and friends of White Mountain. At the same time, our endowment and operating support (Annual Fund) grew.
There are those contributions that are displayed prominently around campus:
McGoldrick Library & Research Center
Class of 2017 Gallery
As well as those that are harder to see:
Bishop Douglas E. Theuner Scholarship
Paula K. Valar Scholarship
Caroline O. McMillan ’47 Music Award
Frederic L. Steele Prize for excellence in science
Robin MacQuire Pearson Class of 1916 Prize
The contributions of dozens of Head’s Circle members
Thank you to everybody who has had a part in White Mountain’s success. As one current student wrote in a thank you letter to her scholarship funders, “The White Mountain School has allowed me to experience things I would not have had the chance to had I continued going to my local public school in New York City….The world needs more amazing people like you who care deeply about people and education. Thank you for the support that has helped provide me with the opportunity to be at The White Mountain School.”