“I think Wilmington Friends School pushes its students to try and pursue multiple interests.
Multiple interests will serve you well in life because, no matter how much you enjoy your profession, you will need a break and it’s always nice to have areas of your life to grow and just enjoy in a different way . . . To the Class of 2022, I remember someone telling my class at my WFS graduation that the world was our oyster at that point. And he was right, in the sense that there is a weird mixture of optimism, achievement, and mystery without the realities of adulthood having set in just yet - enjoy that feeling!”
Bowman Benge ’13 graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2017 where he majored in History and minored in Arabic. For the past five years, Bowman has served as an Officer and Aviator in the United States Air Force. In reflecting on his professional path, Bowman states, “My job has given me many unique opportunities and experiences I would not have otherwise had. From traveling to new countries and continents, it has been quite a ride. Also - I did meet my wife at my job, so that was pretty amazing!”
Prior to his time in the Air Force, Bowman was a student at WFS where he played football, wrestled, and participated in the Model Organization of American States Club. He was also the recipient of the Bush Award, given in honor of former Head of School Charles W. Bush, to students who follow the Quaker “SPICES” and serve as dedicated students and role models to the WFS community.
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.