2019: William “Bill” H. Weeks
What do real estate, horses, insurance, cranberries, and Foxcroft have in common? William Howard Weeks, or Bill, as he is known to all of us. For the past 18 years, Foxcroft has been blessed to have Bill on its team. From that fortuitous day when his daughter Alexa came to visit the School — and Bill, rightly thinking the focus would be on her, yet came away feeling that he was actually the one being interviewed — to the successful completion of Foxcroft’s Centennial Campaign, Bill’s work, wisdom, and leadership have had a powerful impact on this School and its future.
In truth, Bill’s Foxcroft journey did not begin with his daughter Alexa. While attending Lake Forest College, Bill met and later married Olivia Fry, Foxcroft Class of 1976. Although many from Olivia’s family attended Foxcroft, little did he, or Olivia, know at the time that not one, but all three of their daughters — Alexa ’02, Whitney ’06, and Olivia ’08 — would end up proud Foxes at their mother’s alma mater. In 2001, Bill himself followed his wife and daughter by ‘matriculating’ to Foxcroft when he was asked to join the Board of Trustees.
At that time, the School was in the middle of its Gateways to Excellence Campaign to raise $30 million for Foxcroft’s endowment, and Bill, who had served on the Boards of Green Farms Academy (his daughters’ school) and of Tabor Academy (his own alma mater) brought an expertise in development and in buildings and grounds that was invaluable. In his onboarding questionnaire, when asked what goals he had for the School, he responded, “To make Foxcroft as great as it can be!” Bill has worked to do just that. He and Olivia generously and quietly covered the cost of graduation the year his last daughter graduated as well as supported many vital projects through the years ranging from Sally’s Service Center and the stables and rings to the Residential Initiative and endowment. Most recently, he and his family acknowledged one of Foxcroft’s signature programs and the impact it had on Alexa, Whitney, and Olivia by endowing the Weeks Family Award for Exceptional Proficiency.
As a member of Foxcroft’s Board, Bill chaired the Advancement Committee and served on several other committees, including Investment and Finance. His understanding of financial sustainability helped lay Foxcroft’s strong financial foundation. Perhaps his most significant contribution came about through his stewardship of Ruth Bedford ’32, which resulted in the largest bequest ever given to an all-girls’ secondary school. As Bill later said, “Who would have thought all those afternoons of tea would result in this!”
In 2010, when his third term on the Board was ending, Bill was asked to serve a fourth term. This he gladly did which provided continuity and a ballast as Foxcroft headed into its Centennial and a time of transition. Although he thought he could retire from service when this term was completed, Foxcroft was not ready to let him go and asked him to co-chair the Centennial Campaign with an original goal of $50 million which became $75 million after Ruth Bedford’s gift. This campaign exceeded all expectations closing two years early and $4.9 million over goal! Only then, did the School let Bill take a breath!
Today, as an ex officio member of the Advancement Committee of the Board, Bill’s laughter, wit, expertise, guidance and leadership are still felt. He has always put Foxcroft to the front, exploring ways to make the School its very best. As he is fond of saying, “I love what the School did for my daughters.” Bill, we love what you and Olivia have done for Foxcroft.
For his leadership, loyalty, and outstanding service to Foxcroft, the Board of Trustees and Cathy McGehee, Head of School, honor Bill Weeks by presenting Foxcroft’s highest award, the Anne Kane McGuire Distinguished Service Award.