As Parker Watt prepared to graduate from Woodberry last spring, he knew he wouldhave an opportunity to help his parents designatea gift from the Williams Family Foundation ofGeorgia, which was established forty years ago byMarguerite and Thomas Williams. His mother,Alston Parker Watt, serves as the foundation’sexecutive director. The foundation’s grants gotoward children, preservation, and conservation.
And Parker knew right away that he wanted thegift to go to Woodberry. So last year the familyand the Williams Foundation established theParker Vance Watt ’ 19 Scholarship as part of theWoodberry endowment.
“I wholeheartedly believe that Woodberry made
me the person that I am today,” Parker said. “When
I first arrived at Woodberry, I was anxious for
something more in my life — more of a challenge,
more of an opportunity. What I found was a place
that pushed me to work harder, taught me to be
stronger, and exposed me to areas that would later
become my passions.”
Alston said she and Parker’s father, Philip,
wanted to make sure other young men could have
the same transformative experience their son did.
“One thing we and Parker appreciated is that
Woodberry has students from all backgrounds,”
she said. “Our hope is another boy who’s ready
to grow, like Parker was, can come to Woodberry
because of this scholarship.”
Parker, who is now studying drama at Stanford
University, said Woodberry exposed him to things
like acting, archeology, and running that have
become his passions. He served as a prefect, was
an All-State cross country and track athlete, held
leading roles in several plays and musicals, and
sang in the Dozen.
“I encountered some of the best teachers and role
models of men that I think I’ll ever come across,”
Parker says. “Coach Hale, Mr. Hornady, Mr.
Cirves, and Mr. Blain — to name a few — all knew
me personally and were invested in me. I don’t
think I would have had those kinds of role models
And while Parker, like so many graduates, says
he developed deep friendships here, his parents did
as well, both with members of the faculty and with
other parents. In fact, Alston said she and Philip
have been in something of Woodberry withdrawal
now that Parker is off at college.
“When we first dropped Parker off, several
faculty said to us, ‘thank you for sharing your son
with us,’” Alston recalls. “And I thought that was a
nice thing to say, but I didn’t realize then how much
the faculty truly meant it.”
The Watts say they’re excited to know the gift will
have impacts that stretch across the generations.
“Philip and I feel the return on investment of thisthing is immense because of what the recipient willdo in his life after he graduates,” she said. “Investingin a boy going to Woodberry is an investment in afamily, a community, and the entire society.”
One thing we and
is that Woodberry
has students from
all backgrounds. Our
hope is another boy
who’s ready to grow,
like Parker was, can
come to Woodberry
because of this
Watt Scholarship Recognizes Woodberry’s
Philip, Parker ’ 19, Alston, and Christopher Watt