Reflections on endowed Giving

A Never-Ending Gift, a Never-Ending Honor - The Charlton Stevens and Marie Taylor Roby Endowment

Charlton Roby held deep ties to St. Andrew’s. Mr. Roby was a former member of the Corporation, and he and his wife, Marie, served as honorary Chair- men of the Designer Showhouse and as Annual Fund Grandparent Chairmen.

Charlton’s daughter, Jan Wofford, volunteered in many capacities at St. Andrew’s, and for the last eight years, has worked in the Office of Institutional Advancement. For 22 years, Mr. and Mrs. Roby had grandchildren at St. Andrew’s. Taylor, Trey, Meriwether, and Alden Marie Wofford are all Alpha Omega graduates.

Charlton Roby passed away on February 1, 2006, but his deep love for St. Andrew’s remains a blessing for the school today. Mr. Roby remembered St. Andrew’s with a generous gift in his will. That gift, supplemented by memorial donations from his friends and family, serves as the foundation of the Charlton Stevens and Marie Taylor Roby Endowment. While Mr. Roby’s family has not yet decided which areas of St. Andrew’s the endowment will support, they are certain that their be- loved husband, father, and grandfather would be pleased to know that his wish to continue to support St. Andrew’s in perpetuity has been honored.

“My daddy got great joy out of watching the grandchildren he loved learn,” Jan Wofford says. “He was impressed with the quality of education at St. Andrew’s and the important role St. Andrew’s plays as a leader in education in Mississippi. My mother is so pleased that they have both been honored by an endowment at St. Andrew’s, and I know that my father would be proud to be remembered in this way at the school he loved so much.”

Continuing a Legacy

The late Marsha McCarty Wells was a parent, patron, and volunteer leader at St. Andrew’s, serving in roles from room mother to “track team mom” and chairing numerous committees as a long-time member of the board of trustees. Wells understood the importance of creating a permanent source of funds for St. Andrew’s and was instrumental in helping to launch the Touchstone Endowment.

Since her untimely death in 2005 at the age of 50, Wells’ friends and extended family members have created a number of tributes at St. Andrew’s in her honor, including a scholarship endowment and an unrestricted endowment, as well as tangible memorials including a memorial garden and the fountain in the courtyard of the new McRae Science Center.

“Marsha and I had discussed numerous ways to make a long-term financial commitment to St. Andrew’s in the months prior to her sudden death, but we had not finalized those plans,” says Terry Wells, Marsha Wells’ widower. “However, with the support of her family, we are attempting to fulfill her wishes of financial support for St. Andrew’s.”

“I know my mother wanted to give back to the institution that gave so much to her children,” says Marsha’s daughter, Leslie Wells ’06, who is now the graphic design teacher at St. Andrew’s. “I feel it is our duty as her daughters to carry on her legacy. She left some big shoes to fill, but by staying involved and active with the school we can continue her work.”

“Whether she was passing out snacks before players got on the bus for an away game or raising money for the Center for Performing Arts, my mom was always giving to St. Andrew’s,” says Marsha’s older daughter, Ashley Wells Hullender ’03. “My goal as an alumna is to one day instill in my own children the same service values that she modeled for my sister and me. I’m so proud of the legacy my mother established at St. Andrew’s, and I hope to follow in her footsteps.”

Helping Make St. Andrew’s a Family Affair - The John D. and Scott Adams Alumni Scholarship

“Other than my family, St. Andrew’s has been the most constant thing in my life,” Barbara Adams says.

“My 33 years at St. Andrew’s were a big part in making me who I am today.”? Adams retired in 2005 after a career at St. Andrew’s that spanned three decades and eight job titles, including Director of Alumni, assistant counselor, Lower School counselor, Dean of Stu- dent Activities in the Middle School, Latin teacher, English teacher, history teacher, and Director of Admission.

Barbara maintains close ties to the school, thanks in part to the endowed scholarship she and her husband, John, established at St. Andrew’s in honor of their sons, ’93 and ’95 graduates. The John D. and Scott Adams Alumni Scholarship will help children of alumni attend St. Andrew’s, with preference given to alumni who are also faculty members.

“When an alum realizes they received an outstanding education at St. Andrew’s and wants his or her child to have that same opportunity, it’s the greatest affirmation the school could ever receive,” Barbara says. “We wanted to help those alumni who are seeking the best for their children.

“As a former faculty member and a grateful parent, I know that St. Andrew’s teachers are there not only because they want to teach, but be-cause they are called to teach. We chose to give preference to alumni who are also faculty so that we could help those individuals provide the same level of teaching and loving care they’re giving to other students to their own children.”

Sowing A Gift, Reaping A Legacy - A gift of real estate

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School lost two of its most beloved benefactors when former trustee J. Paul Faulkner died in 1992 and his wife, Dee Tankersley Faulkner, passed away in 2004. The Faulkners never had children of their own, but they wholeheartedly supported the St. Andrew’s mission, contributing to the Annual Fund and capital campaigns and establishing awards and scholarships for faculty and students.

Wishing to provide permanent support to St. Andrew’s, the Faulkners also made a generous bequest to the school in their wills. The couple left a substantial gift of property to the school, including a farm in Arkansas. St. Andrew’s sold the farm, contributing the proceeds from the sale to two separate endowed funds, the J. Paul and Dee Faulkner Endowment for the Fine Arts and the J. Paul and Dee Faulkner Endowment, which supports continuing education for St. Andrew’s faculty members.

“Paul and Dee’s vision and passion for St. Andrew’s was inspiring,” says Rebecca Collins, director of institutional advancement. “They wanted to see St. Andrew’s continue to evolve into one of the best schools in the country, and they were determined to play a substantial role in helping us fulfill that vision. The bequest Paul and Dee made to our school, including the gift of their farm, will ensure that the Faulkners’ legacy at St. Andrew’s lives on.”

“Nothing less than magnificent”

Zack Bullard ’08 was able to attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School thanks to a Malone Family Foundation Scholarship. Zach is now attending Vanderbilt University on a full scholarship, an accomplishment his mother, Liz Bullard, attributes to his education at St. Andrew’s. “I knew Zach would get some offers because he was so bright, but I know he would not have received anything on this level if he hadn’t gone to St. Andrew’s,” Liz Bullard says. “As a single parent, you don’t mind doing without, but you want your children to have the best. When you’re stuck in a position beyond your control where you can’t provide the best for your children on your own, to have something like the Malone Scholarship in place is nothing less than magnificent.”

“They have set me up for the future.”

Kyle Craft ’08 represents the first generation of his family to attend college. Kyle received more than $1.5 million in scholarship offers from prestigious colleges and universities nationwide, ultimately choosing to attend Stanford University in California. But when it comes to scholarships, Kyle points to the Malone Scholarship that allowed him to attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School as the one that has most impacted his life thus far. n “Because of the Malone Scholarship, I was able to attend St. Andrew’s. That simple statement carries more weight than even I know right now,” Kyle says. “My high school experience was made possible by St. Andrew’s and the Malone Foundation, and not only have they taken care of me in the past, but they have set me up for the future.”

“All are enriched.”

Current St. Andrew’s parents Vaughan and Nora Frances McRae see financial aid as benefitting not only the individual recipients, but every member of the St. Andrew’s community. The couple established the McRae Scholarship Endowment, which provides need-based financial aid. “At St. Andrew’s, our students have come to expect and value an interesting mix of fellow students from different cultural backgrounds, faiths, and life experiences. Scholarships do much to make that a reality,” Nora Frances McRae says. “By donating to scholarships and making a St. Andrew’s education possible for students from all economic backgrounds, a donor parent is also benefitting his or her own children. All are enriched.”

“We felt we should give back.”

Like most St. Andrew’s parents, Michael and Karen Rodgers have made many sacrifices in order to give their daughters, Riley and Devon, a St. Andrew’s education. But the Rodgers believe so strongly in the value of the St. Andrew’s experience that they not only are willing to make sacrifices for their own children, but for the children of others. The Rodgers established an endowment to cover the gap between a student’s need-based financial aid and the actual cost of tuition. “We are so fortunate to have the means to send Riley and Devon to such a fine school as St. Andrew’s, and we recognize that not all parents are as fortunate,” Karen Rodgers says. “We felt we should do our small part to give back by helping children of parents who value education but need some help financially.”

Remembering Whitney - Friends Establish the Whitney Luckett Watkins Scholarship Endowment

Whitney Luckett Watkins ’92 was an honor student, captain of the cheerleading squad, and MVP on the basketball and track teams. She went on to graduate from Rhodes College, marry her high school sweetheart, start a family, and develop a successful career turning “fixer-uppers” into lovely homes. ?

But of Whitney’s many accomplishments, what people will remember most was her exceptional character. When 32-year-old Whitney lost her heroic battle with melanoma on Valentine’s Day 2007, she left behind her family and a community devastated by her loss but inspired by her example.

Determined that her memory will live on at St. Andrew’s, Whitney’s many friends are working together to create an endowed scholarship in her name. While Whitney was an outstanding student and gifted athlete, the merit-based Whitney Luckett Watkins Scholarship will honor a student who exemplifies another of Whitney’s traits – her spirit.

“Whitney left a big footprint in such a positive way,” says Jason Watkins, Whitney’s husband of almost nine years. “She took all the bad and turned it into good. It would be a tragedy not to let that influence survive her.

“Our son, Web, and daughter, Douglas, didn’t have the chance to get to know their mother as well as some other people did,” Jason continues. “It will be remarkable for them to go to the school where Whitney was so well-loved and to have that reminder that their mother is being honored. This scholarship will make Whitney real to them in a tangible way and remind them of what a special person their mother was.”

A Retirement Ensures a Legacy

Bill or “Bubba” Watkins (1947-2004) taught art at St. Andrew’s Middle School from 1984 to 1994. In his corner of the B-Quad, countless students found a refuge where they could escape the frustrations of middle school life, and a man who seemed eerily prescient when it came to knowing just the right thing to say to raise a smile and dismiss a worry. Mr. Watkins embodied and encouraged the philosophy of art above all else, and, as he liked to say, “art is whatever you can get away with.”


In a gesture demonstrative of his large and generous spirit, Mr. Watkins left his retirement savings to St. Andrew’s. Because of his generous legacy, the William Myers Watkins, III Memorial Scholarship Fund provides an annual scholarship to a rising senior at St. Andrew’s. Representatives of the St. Andrew’s visual arts department select the scholarship recipient and present the award each year on Honors Day.

A Gift That Seems Heaven Sent

In 1982, Louis Lyell gave St. Andrew’s students the moon and stars.

Thirty years later, Lyell’s family honored him by preserving his gift for future generations.

While studying German in Berlin in 1953, Louis Lyell met and befriended Fridtjof Speer, a German scientist who eventually relocated to the United States to work for NASA. Speer rose quickly through the ranks at the agency, serving 30 years with NASA before retiring as deputy director for science at the Marshall Space Flight Center. He and Louis Lyell remained lifelong friends.

When St. Andrew’s began construction on the North Campus in 1982, Lyell had an inspiration that struck him like a bolt from the blue.

“The idea of an observatory popped into my head, and without a moment of reflection, I decided to make the offer to pay for its construction and equipping,” Lyell says. “At that time, I would have been hard put to explain my action and today it is no clearer to me. But I have never doubted the need for such a facility and the role it could play in exciting young minds. Astronomy embraces physics, chemistry, radio, the classics of literature, and many more things than I can imagine. If students cannot be in awe of the beauty of the skies, they are sorely lacking.”

The first building on the St. Andrew’s North Campus, the Speer-Lyell Observatory is also named in honor of Louis Lyell’s late brother, Dr. Frank Lyell, who was a university English professor.

“Frank was not in the least scientific, but he was a scholar of English literature,” Louis Lyell says. “This has me thinking of an astronomical reference from a poem by Omar Khayyam that Frank would surely have known, ‘Awake, for morning in the bowl of night, has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight: and lo! The hunter of the East has caught the Sultan’s turret in a noose of light.’”

For nearly three decades, the Speer-Lyell Observatory has given St. Andrew’s students the chance to go far beyond the classroom in their study of the universe. As John Applegate, who has taught astronomy at St. Andrew’s since 1987, notes, “It’s one thing to talk about, for example, the marks a comet left when it struck Jupiter, but it’s another thing to actually see them.”

In 2012, Lyell’s wife, Alison “Tippy” Reimers Lyell ’58, and his daughters, Lorna Chain ’83 and Louise Lampton ’84, surprised him with a Christmas present that both honored Louis Lyell and celebrated his gift to St. Andrew’s. The family established The Louis James Lyell Endowment, which enhances the astronomy program and provides for the permanent upkeep of the Speer-Lyell Observatory. The St. Andrew’s annual astronomy award was also renamed the Louis James Lyell Award for Excellence in Astronomy.

“Our father is always looking for ways to spark a child’s interest in learning, and we thought he deserved recognition for that,” Lorna Chain says.

Thanks to Louis Lyell’s original gift and the recent gift presented by his family, St. Andrew’s students for years to come can continue to reach for the stars.

A Sound Argument for an Endowment

During his 15-year tenure at St. Andrew’s, Dr. Randy Patterson chaired the Department of English and the Department of Speech Communication. Patterson was instrumental in launching the St. Andrew’s speech and debate program and in guiding the program to national prominence. 


“St. Andrew’s did not have a speech and debate team before 1995,” Patterson recalls. “When I announced the first meeting of students interested in a forensics team, one student asked how the forensics team would work with dead bodies. Her parents were both doctors, and she was thinking of forensic medicine.”


Upon his retirement in 2010, Patterson’s friends surprised him with the establishment of an endowment in his honor. The Dr. Randall Gerald Patterson Endowment for Speech and Debate was created to benefit the program Randy Patterson helped to create and nurture. 


“My first feeling was one of surprise and a deep feeling of gratitude,” Patterson says. “This endowment shows that the hard work the speech and debate students, the parents, the other coaches, and I put in through the years – including the time given, the financial resources invested, and the skills gained – continues to be deeply valued by the St. Andrew’s community.”


The lead gift for the endowment was provided by Jackson attorney and former St. Andrew’s trustee Danny Cupit, a longtime friend of Patterson’s and a supporter of the speech and debate program at St Andrew’s since its inception.


“Randy Patterson did more for the speech and debate program than anyone could have asked,” Cupit says. “I thought an endowment in his name was only fitting to help ensure the future of a program he cared so deeply about.”

It’s the thought that counts - The Sara Smith Ray Endowment for the Performing Arts

The best Christmas present Sara Ray ever received isn’t something she’ll wear or drive, and it didn’t come from a mall. It was a highly personal gift, customized just for Sara, yet she’ll share it with the entire St. Andrew’s community. 


On Christmas morning 2005, Sara unwrapped a present from her husband, Bill. Inside was a framed certificate announcing the creation of the Sara Smith Ray Endowment for the Per-forming Arts. 


“I cried,” Sara says. “The whole family cried. Bill cried. Our children cried, and Katie, our daughter-in-law, who is from Atlanta and never attended St. Andrew’s, cried. It was a family moment like nothing we’ve experienced before.”


Established through a donation from Bill Ray, the endowment will fund enhancements to the St. Andrew’s per-forming arts program and serve as a permanent honor for his wife. Sara has played many roles at St. Andrew’s, from Chairman of the Parents’ Association to Trustee to Annual Fund Co-Chairman. 


“The school has been so important to our family over the years, and Sara has given so much of her time and talent to St. Andrew’s, that I knew establishing this endowment would be the perfect gift,” Bill Ray says. 


“St. Andrew’s has not only changed our children’s lives, but Bill’s and my life,” Sara says. “To have an endowment named in my honor at a place that continues to mean so much to all of us is worth more than any material gift I could ever receive.”

And They Read Happily Ever After - 
A gift in memory of a loved one

Once upon a time, a little girl named Dorsey was locked in a library.


“I was reading in the stacks when I looked up from a page and noticed that most of the lights had gone out,” a grown-up Dorsey Wade recalls. “The librarian had locked the doors and gone home for the night. Fortunately, there was a phone handy and I was rescued.”


In 1984, Dorsey Wade joined the faculty of the St. Andrew’s Lower School, teaching and sharing her love of books with second and third graders for the next decade. Another of her contributions to her students was bringing her mother, Jo Timberlake Nicholson into the classroom, where “Miss Jo” enchanted the children with her magical storytelling.


When Miss Jo died in 2008, Dorsey Wade celebrated her mother’s gift for storytelling and her own love of reading in a generous gift to St. Andrew’s. The Miss Jo and Dorsey Wade Endowment for the Lower School Library will allow the library to expand its collection. Thanks to this gift, generations of future students will enjoy new adventures, meet new characters they’ll come to consider friends, and discover a lifelong love of reading.

Another Source of Income

“Along with generations of other parents, my husband and I have helped fund operations at St. Andrew’s through tuition, the Annual Fund, and periodic capital campaigns,” former St. Andrew’s board chair Ellen Leake says. “But during my tenure as a trustee, I saw that to adequately pay competitive salaries, attract and retain outstanding students, and enhance programs and physical facilities, we needed to build our endowment to provide another source of income. We see our gift to the endowment as helping take a little of the pressure off of all tuition-paying families.”

Service Without Borders

In 2008, Creath Guillot ’75 pledged $100,000 to the then-new global studies program. In the years since, Guillot has been following the global studies program’s development and working with Chris Harth, director of global studies, to determine how his gift could best be put to work. When St. Andrew’s enhanced the existing travel grants program to include more emphasis on service learning, Guillot knew he had found the program that resonated with him. Guillot’s gift has since been allocated toward the program, which has been renamed the Guillot Global Fellows Grant. St. Andrew’s students who apply for and receive the grant receive up to $2,000 toward service trips to developing countries.

“I visited St. Andrew’s and had the opportunity to meet with some of the students who had already completed service trips through the travel grants program, and I was blown away by their experiences,” Guillot recalls. “These students were 16 and 17 years old, but their compassion and desire to serve made them seem so much older. I knew then what I wanted my gift to support.”

The list of criteria for the Guillot Global Fellows Grant includes the desire to take a service-oriented trip, a stipulation that the service project take place in a developing country, and financial need.

“I didn’t want the grant to fund a student working for an investment bank in Milan,” Guillot says with a smile. “I wanted to encourage service that would give students a chance to really experience life outside their comfort zones.

“Most high school students are likely unaware of how the vast majority of the world lives. That’s not a matter of fault, it’s a matter of opportunity,” Guillot continues. “Sending someone overseas to live in developing country 24/7 for an extended period is not the same as having them complete a two-hour service project then head back to a nice hotel that night. When people are immersed in those living conditions, it can be lifechanging. I know what it did for me in my late twenties. Just imagine what it can do for a 17-year-old.”

Based on feedback from the inaugural Guillot Global Fellows, Guillot’s vision is being realized.

“The most memorable moment for me was seeing a young man literally jump for joy after receiving a pen. He was so genuinely grateful,” says junior J.T. Kitchings, who received a grant to travel to Rwanda. “Seeing poverty like that first-hand makes you, as an American, realize how different things are in other parts of the world where the ‘American dream’ is simply not attainable. I’m now finding that my desire for material things has greatly diminished. Seeing people who live without clean water, much less an iPod, left its mark.”

“My time spent shadowing a Peruvian gynecologist influenced me the most,” says senior Vineet Aggarwal, who applied his scientific and language skills serving in Peru. “Because of my stern parents and rigid heritage, the thought unsettled me. However, I decided to overcome my fears for the pursuit of knowledge. My experiences helped me to mature and to look at the world from a new medical perspective. The opportunity helped me to learn about not only the world, but also about myself.”

“The experiences that made the most impact on me were the interactions with the people of Ghana, particularly in schools,” says junior Eve Rodenmeyer. “I read [aloud] with the kindest boy I have ever met, Richard Barton, and he told me about his aspirations of moving to America. That day, I did not just do service work. I also made a friend, and changed my belief that North America and Africa were worlds away.”

A Life Set to Music

Her classmates remember Sheila Sundaram ’02 as a gifted musician who played the flute in the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School band. But even more than her musical gifts, her friends in the class of 2002 remember Sheila as a kind and caring person and a loyal friend whose life was cut tragically short when she was killed in a car accident the summer after her freshman year of college.

Sheila’s brother, Narayan Sundaram ’97, has honored his sister’s memory by creating an endowment for the St. Andrew’s band and a book award in her honor. The Sheila Sundaram ’02 Memorial Endowment for the Band will provide ongoing support for the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School band, while the Sheila Sundaram ’02 Memorial Prize in Band will annually honor one outstanding student musician. Sheila’s brother had longed to create a memorial for his sister for some years, and upon completing his medical residency and fellowship, felt the time was finally right.

“I thought through what Sheila’s interests were, and music was at the top of the list,” Narayan Sundaram says. “I also wanted to give back to St. Andrew’s. Sheila and I were both graduates, and I credit St. Andrew’s with giving me the tools to succeed in life and laying the foundation for my medical career.”

Narayan Sundaram’s gifts will support the changing needs of the St. Andrew’s band, and help provide opportunities for other gifted musicians like Sheila.

South Campus • Pre-K3 to 4th grade • 4120 Old Canton Road • Jackson, MS 39216 • 601-987-9300
North Campus • Grades 5 to 12 • 370 Old Agency Road • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601-853-6000

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