After spending two decades as a private practice trial lawyer, Shirley shifted the focus of her career to public service. She credits WFS with instilling in her the many values needed to be an effective U.S. Magistrate Judge.
How did you choose to be a magistrate judge?
I became a lawyer because the idea of helping people resolve problems has always appealed to me. After working almost two decades as a trial lawyer in private practice, I wanted to apply my skills and professional experience in a broader way and to a broader audience. I realized that only public service would give me that reach and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as a federal magistrate judge.
What are your current interests and passions?
I am lucky to have a job that incorporates many of my interests and passions: reading, writing, and helping people. I started running 20 years ago and though I run much less now, running continues to be a passion. I still write the occasional poem, love all genres of music, enjoy cooking, and spending time with my family.
How has WFS impacted you since graduation?
WFS gave me a solid foundation for the future and played a significant role in mapping the blueprint for what followed after graduation. It was at Friends that I first learned the importance of being still, mindful, and contemplative in meeting for worship (a practice I follow today); it was at Friends that I deepened my love for all poetry and literature in Mr. Brown’s class; it was at Friends in Mrs. Holmes Algebra 2 class that I gained confidence in my ability to find solutions to problems that differed from the book’s approach and sometimes the teacher’s approach; it was at Friends that l learned to respect and value different religions and cultures and learned to value social reformers like Dr. Martin Luther King even before his impact was being acknowledged nationally. This foundation helped to develop qualities like intellectual curiosity and desire for the evenhanded administration of justice that are important to being a judge.
Elizabeth L. Haven ’72 was a “sandwich” Friends student, between brother Ken Haven ’70 and sister Julie Haven Malloy ’80. At Friends, Liz was active in student government and was Senior Class President. She received the Bush Award and was a National Merit Scholar. After majoring in Geology at Harvard University, Liz graduated in 1976 and left for California, becoming the first female oilfield engineer for the Schlumberger Company. In 1980, Liz completed her M.S. degree in Engineering Geology from Stanford University. Also in 1980, she married fellow geologist Rick Humphreys, with whom she raised two daughters, now grown. Liz led a variety of water quality programs for California’s state government, culminating in the Deputy Director position charged with transferring the Safe Drinking Water Program in order to address the need for safe and affordable drinking water for disadvantaged communities. Now retired, Liz and her husband live in Windsor, California and enjoy hiking and camping with their dog in the beautiful countryside and beaches of Sonoma County.
“WFS cultivated my interests from a young age. I felt like teachers really knew me - both my strengths and my weaknesses. They allowed me to be who I was while also encouraging me to reach my full potential. I felt like more than just a student in the Class of 2012; I felt like an important part of the community.”
“WFS taught me about teamwork and compassion when working on assignments and projects with multiple students. This was helpful in college and continues to be in the design world as it’s all about negotiation and teamwork!”
Last April, two dozen students, staff, faculty, and WDEL gathered in the library for a glimpse into the future. Theo Nix, Jr. ‘72 presented on why the sky’s the limit in opportunities for FAA-certified drone pilots. The former corporate counsel for DuPont has founded a business to train pilots in five states including Delaware - and he wants to expand internationally, starting in Kenya.
“Make yourself known in everything that you do. It’s very easy to get ‘lost in the numbers’ at a large university, so it is important that your professors are able to put a face to the name and that you make an honest impression. These connections that you make with professors, advisors, and coaches can last a lifetime and can open up new opportunities that you never knew existed or help you achieve experiences that you have always dreamed of . . . I am able to do what I love in a way that I never thought was possible because of these professors, advisors and coaches.”
Susan Woolley Katz ‘88 was a Lifer at Friends, as were her sisters (Laura Kemper ’81, Lisa Anderson ’82) and parents (Cynthia Pyle Woolley ’56, Clark Hullihen Woolley ’57). Many other generations of her family also attended WFS.
Eric Kelley ’10 graduated from Williams College in 2015 with his degree in English. While at Williams, Kelley captained the Varsity Men’s Lacrosse team and served as a member of the Black Student Union.
“I believe that the concept of active listening and learning was cultivated at WFS, and this included being open to feedback. Being willing (and knowing it’s okay!) to change your mind, and constructively disagreeing helped prepare me for post HS life. On the topic of seeing something differently, it was here that I learned that it is perfectly fine to disagree with someone or not see eye to eye, but it’s imperative for everyone’s personal growth and development to do so in a kind, respectful, and gracious way. I think this is the most powerful lesson I took away from Friends and one that I see necessary to practice daily in our world, now more than ever.”
“One of the greatest lessons I took from Friends was how to think critically, which has served me well throughout my educational journey and into the professional world. It’s truly a skill that is valuable regardless of what you do in life."
“I greatly appreciate WFS for giving me the opportunity to become an independent learner and teaching me how to write. Without these skills, I would not have had nearly as much confidence to go into research as I do now.”
I attended Wilmington Friends School for 14 years, and by all accounts, I consider myself a “lifer.” WFS provided the bulk of my educational experience, which was the basis for my development as an artist and an activist. Throughout my attendance at Friends, certain core values such as integrity, community, equality, peace, stewardship, and simplicity were foundational.
Peter Henderer ’89 attended Friends for three years for Pre-1st through 2nd grades, and then returned for 10th through 12th grades. On campus, he played football and lacrosse, played in the Concert Band and Jazz Band, served on the Service Committee, and was Clerk of the Business Meeting. After graduation, Peter studied at Bowdoin College, majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies, and serving as Co-President of the Bowdoin Outing Club. After Bowdoin he studied law at The George Washington University Law School and went on to the private practice of law in Richmond, Virginia. Peter’s practice is in commercial real estate, with a particular focus on tax-credit financed multifamily housing. On the side, Peter has grown a portfolio of his own residential rental properties. Outside of work, Peter has served on numerous non-profit boards, and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees at Richmond Montessori School, a Toddler through 8th grade school in Richmond. Peter is married to Armistead Edmunds Henderer and they have two teenage children.