“Education is the best gift you can give to the next generation.”
– Barrie Hogan Landry ’62
In celebration of Westover’s Centennial, Barrie and her husband, Kevin Landry, offered the School a $3.5-million challenge grant – the largest challenge gift in Westover’s history – in support of the Inspiring Women: Campaign for Westover. In response the Westover community not only rose to the challenge, but also surpassed it with a total of $4.5 million in matching gifts, bringing the total for the effort to an incredible $8 million.
This one-to-one challenge required Westover to secure: (1) a $2 million gift (2) a $1 million gift and (3) a $500,000 gift.
“I believe in the transformative power of education,” says Kevin, evidenced by the fact that 90 percent of the Landrys’ charitable giving goes toward education. “It was an honor to be able to support Westover, a place that my wife holds dear in her heart.”
Why a challenge gift rather than a direct gift? The Landrys wanted to inspire others to give at higher levels, raising more money for the school. “People like to respond to a challenge grant where their money can be leveraged,” says Barrie. “A challenge gift also instills great confidence that Westover can accomplish the goals it’s set out for itself for the next 100 years.”
The Landrys’ gift was also motivated by Ann Pollina’s leadership and commitment to “transforming young women to be strong ethical contributors and concerned global citizens, and teaching them that they are here to leave the world better than they found it.”
The gift more than succeeded: despite the difficult economic climate, Westover’s community not only rose to the challenge, but also surpassed it by securing an additional $1 million donor, bringing the total up to an incredible $8 million.
The donors who met the Landrys’ challenge all shared one thing: a love for Westover. Helen “Lenkie” Angier Trumbull ’48 cites Westover as her “biggest giving priority.” “Westover has remained an important part of my life,” she explains. “My two daughters attended Westover, as well as one of my granddaughters.” Says donor Sara Belcher Wardell ’60, when presented with the challenge, “I was always as generous to Westover as I thought I could be, but just did not see myself as a ‘big money’ person. Given the challenge grant, I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I do this now?’”
“Westover felt much more family-like than other schools, and I loved that it was all-girls,” says Alethea “Thea” Kunhardt Walker ’45. “When I was asked to meet this challenge, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and said, ‘I can do this, and I want to do this.’”
Suzanne Searle Dixon ’49, who donated with her daughter, Katherine Dixon Thomson ’72, reiterates that her time here was a “great experience.” “This is an exciting time for the future of Westover,” she says. We are deeply grateful for the generosity demonstrated by these donors and truly inspired by this tremendous show of support for our school.