Doris Van Taylor loved the impact Woodberry Foresthad on her family. Her son, JimTaylor, graduated in 1968 andher grandson, Van, followed inhis father’s footsteps, graduatingin 1999, something that made his grandmotherespecially proud.
“Grandma couldn’t have been happier that I
went to Woodberry,” Van says. “She’s also the one
who really wanted dad to go to Woodberry all
those years ago. My grandpa didn’t want my dad
to go away to school, but she was all for it.”
Both father and son came to Woodberry from
Eastern North Carolina. Jim lived in Bethel when
he was a student, and the family was living in
Wilson during Van’s years at the Forest.
When Mrs. Taylor wanted to support Woodberryin recognition of the impact the school had on herfamily, she chose to do so through a charitableremainder unitrust, often known as a CRUT.A CRUT’s money is invested by the investmentcommittee of Woodberry’s board of trustees.Each year Mrs. Taylor received a percentage of thevalue of the trust. In years when market returnswere higher than the payments due to Mrs. Taylor,the CRUT grew in value. Upon her death last year,the remaining money in the trust became a part ofWoodberry’s endowment.
Some CRUT gifts are undesignated andbecome part of Woodberry’s general endowment,supporting all aspects of school life. The TaylorCRUT was intended to support the physical plant.Van and Jim decided to direct the money towardthe Walker Building restoration and name theprefect conference room, in part because Vanserved as a prefect. But because the CRUT hadgrown over time, Jim and Van consulted with thedevelopment office last year and elected to use theremaining funds to establish a new scholarship insupport of tuition assistance. As a multi-generationWoodberry family, they’re especially interested inmaking sure alumni know that tuition assistanceis available to help their sons attend Woodberry.
Woodberry alumni and parents have beenestablishing CRUTs with the school for decades.At the end of 2019, the values of those trusts totaled$9.5 million. CRUTs offer a way for a family tomake a major gift to Woodberry while ensuringthey have the income and financial resources theyneed during their lifetime.
If you are interested in learning more, pleasecontact Dodie Chavez ’85 at 540-672-6036, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRUT Gift Will
Scholarship Fund Agift from the Simmons family of Charlotte, North Carolina, has supported Woodberry’s ongoing expansion of classes, events, and resources that better
support student wholeness.
The Simmons Family Fund For Wellness is a part of the school’s endowment. Incomefrom the gift is being used to support visiting speakers’ fees, field trip expenses,equipment for mindfulness practices, and other expenses that the school sees asneeded for the support and guidance for boys’ wholeness.
Walker Simmons ’ 21 is active in a wide range of athletic and extracurricular pursuitsand works to make sure his classmates are caring for themselves. Earlier this yearhe participated in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference with several otherWoodberry boys and spoke at a Thursday morning assembly about both the conferenceand some of his own personal experiences. He also serves as a member of the PeerLeadership Council. Each peer leader works with a group of five or six new boys,meeting weekly as a group and also checking in individually with the boys assignedto him.
The gift came shortly after Rev. Tyler Montgomery, now in his second year on thefaculty, arrived as chaplain and assistant to the headmaster for student wholeness.Tyler has been instrumental in organizing initiatives like the school’s recent One Loveday and the third-form expedition, which launched this past fall and will continue nextyear as part of a new, school-wide Expedition Week that includes trips or experiencestailored to appropriately challenge and engage boys in each form.
Other efforts include an ongoing health curriculum for third formers taught byDirector of Health Services Tammy Firman, school psychologist Dr. Christal Boesen,and members of the dean of students’ office.
Tyler has described the ongoing work so far as a series of trials, testing out a widerange of ideas and initiatives to see what fits best with the needs of Woodberry boysand the school’s culture.
Simmons Family’s Gift Supports
Expansion of Wholeness Curriculum
Jim Taylor ’68
Macie, Liz, Walker, Eli, and Walker Simmons ’ 21