Academy World: Fall 2019

Feature story: Unprecedented Legacy

Unprecedented  Legacy

With a historic gift to endowment, William “Wilber” E. ’64W  and Janet James honor Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s past and present, while paving the way for its future.

Strolling down the immaculate stone driveway of the home of Wilber ’64W and Janet James in Rockport, Massachusetts, one’s eyes alight on a cluster of old-growth trees from which emerges . . . a giant giraffe. The friendly-looking bronze sculpture is one of a number situated on the mid-20th century property and is a hint to the visitor of the personal and carefully curated art collection inside.

Wilber (spry, trim, sporting his signature mustache) is, as always, eager to share the collection, to outline the history of each piece, to draw connections. He points to an Ashcan School painting here, a Han Dynasty vase there. On one wall hangs a portrait by Gilbert Stuart — yes, that Gilbert Stuart — of Wilber’s distant relative. This is apropos given that Wilber and Janet’s art tells the story of their lives, individually and together, and because that story now includes a record-breaking gift, in the form of a $10 million unrestricted bequest, from the couple to Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

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Traveling Titans

A Silent Knock on ‘Seeing Things as They Really are’

English Department Faculty member Billy Rosenbeck journeyed to Nepal to experience Vipassana is a meditation technique with a reputation for being one of the world’s purest. Meaning “to see things as they really are,” Vipassana is a secular practice, that — despite its association with Buddhism — is unbeholden to any sect. Mr. Rosenbeck shares about his experience at the silent, 10-day meditation course.

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Spain

Japan

Morocco