Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Anne Keiser '66
"I have searched for ways to financially support the
people and institutions that have helped me become
who I am today. It was only natural that Holton
be a beneficiary of my support. I want to ensure
today's girls have the same type of experiences that
I had as a girl.
Holton was my life for fourteen years. I can
actually recall specific moments from each of those
years and know how each experience was pivotal
in shaping my adult life. Whether it was finding a
particular passion or simply guiding me through
life's complex challenges, Holton taught me how
to persevere with grace. Looking back on my life's
journey, I am grateful for my Holton education now
more than I ever was as a student. "
Timothy and Elizabeth Mctaggart,
Parents of Caroline, '15
"From the moment our daughter, Caroline,
entered Holton – we were sold! The faculty and
administration are so obviously dedicated to
the school's mission of educating young women
inside the classroom and in the world beyond.
By making this planned gift, we want to help
Holton stay strong now and for years to come."
Beryl Powers Robinson '57
"All my life, I have been blazing trails for women,
and I'm proud of that. Through my professional
experience, I have found education is the most
effective way to affect change. I am amazed that the
foundation I received at Holton continues to serve
me daily, even more so than the other colleges and
universities that I have attended.
For years, I did my own estate planning. Recently,
a financial professional confirmed that I was on
the right path and gave me new avenues to pursue
that would further benefit my philanthropies and
my heirs. Now more than ever, I know that estate
planning can simplify your life."
Elizabeth Graybill '91
"By contributing to Holton, I aim to help the school
continue to provide the same educational and
professional opportunities for future classes that
were provided to and instilled in me as a student.
I spent seven years at Holton, starting in third
grade through ninth grade when my family moved
to Connecticut. It was a very formative educational
experience for me. Now twenty years later, as an
attorney, I have decided to pursue a personal and
professional interest in international women's
rights. I hope that my work will allow opportunities
for equal educational, social, economic, and political
rights to expand for girls and women in other
communities. In that way, I believe that my
connection to Holton has come full circle."
Bruce Yoran, son of Catharine Murphy Yoran ’49, says a close association with the founders and subsequent leaders of Holton-Arms and a devotion inspired by experience with the School led his mother and grandmother, Catharine Murphy Wheatley, to give more than a combined total of fifty years of service to Holton-Arms School.
“I practically grew up at Holton,” says Bruce. “I knew all the Alumnae Association members when I was about six or seven. And when my grandmother was still there [as Middle School Director 1951-1972], we would have lunch together while Mother met with the alumnae.”
Mrs. Yoran’s involvement with Holton began in 1944 as a student. A member of the Class of 1949, she was warmly received as the daughter of then-English and History teacher Catharine Murphy Wheatley. Following graduation, Mrs. Yoran attended Wheaton College in Massachusetts and graduated from the Katherine Gibbs business school before returning to Holton to work as a secretary and later as assistant to Headmistress Sally Lurton.
With Holton such an influential presence during his formative years, Bruce felt compelled to support the School in a significant way when his mother passed away in March of 2007.
“Holton gives back so much to those who are involved with the School. I felt I could give back in honor of Mother and our family’s long and close association with the School.”
Bruce has named Holton the beneficiary of his life insurance policies. His gifts will become a part of the School’s endowment and will support Holton’s Archives and the work of its Archivists. Mrs. Yoran was one of the School’s original archivists who worked weekly preserving pictures, papers and other documents.
“Mother loved her time spent with her friends working on the School Archives. This was very important to her,” says Bruce.
The Catharine Murphy Yoran ’49 Archives will collect, preserve, and make available materials that reflect the life of the School since its founding in 1901. The archives collection includes manuscripts, letters, memoranda, diaries, logbooks, printed materials, photographs, video and audio recordings, memorabilia, and artifacts having a common source in the identity of The Holton-Arms School.
After so many years of association with Holton-Arms – as a student, employee and volunteer – it is fitting that Mrs. Yoran should be honored with this gift. The sum of a lifetime spent in service and friendship to Holton will not be soon forgotten. Instead, the memory of Mrs. Yoran, and the countless other women and men who have made Holton strong, will forever be preserved and made available to the young women of today as well as generations to come.
Susan Gortner and Catherine Gortner ‘79
Susan Reichert Gortner, a professor and associate dean at UCSF who brought pioneering contributions to nursing and public health, left a legacy to Holton-Arms School where her daughter attended from 1974-1978.
"What do you say when you have the world's best mom?" said her daughter, Catherine Gortner ‘79. "She was brilliant and noble and loving and graceful. She expected the best of us, she wanted us to excel. To us, she was Supermom. She was not only an immensely loving mother, but also my closest friend and confidante."
Susan was just 16 when she enrolled at Stanford, where she earned a degree in anthropology in 1953. She earned a master's degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University in 1957 and a doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1964.
Education was a top priority for Susan. Sally Rankin, chairwoman of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at UCSF said, “As a teacher, she set a very high standard… she opened doors for many students." As for her children, Susan credited Holton-Arms for contributing greatly to her daughter’s personal development and career achievements. In her will, Susan provided a bequest intention to Holton-Arms. She made her gift in recognition of the excellent secondary school preparation Catherine received at Holton-Arms.
“She really believed in giving back,” says Catherine.
The Catherine Willis Gortner '79 Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide scholarship opportunities to young women at Holton who demonstrate financial need.
Suzanne Frazier Martin ‘57
In the mid-1990s, Holton-Arms created the Lamp of Learning Society as a way to honor planned giving donors. The lamp from the School’s crest was chosen as the Society’s symbol to demonstrate how estate gifts help illuminate the path for future generations of Holton students. Faculty members and parents were quick to express their support, but it was the alumnae who led the way with investments that would shape their alma mater’s future.
Lamp of Learning Society charter member Suzanne Martin points to the relationships she developed at Holton as a reason for including the School in her estate plans: "My years at Holton from kindergarten through 12th grade were so very special. Many of the teachers were my mentors and women I wanted to emulate.”
Like many other members of the society, Suzanne was faced with a dilemma of wanting to provide for her children and leave behind resources for her favorite charities. She was also interested in securing an income for the rest of her life. Suzanne says, “By making a Pooled Income Gift (which provides me with income and the principal goes to Holton when I'm gone) and leaving a bequest in my Will, I hope to, in a small way, make it possible for future students to have the same extraordinary Holton experience."