Ben has been involved with several non-profit organizations in and around Wilmington, including Wilmington Friends School, for the past 20 years.
Before shifting his focus to serving his community, Ben had a successful career in retail. He worked as a buyer and merchandise manager for Wilmington Dry Goods from 1970-1989 and then started his own business. From 1990-2005, he opened and managed a ladies clothing store, The Fashion Outlet. The Fashion Outlet had six locations from Wilmington to Fenwick Island.
After retiring, Ben joined the Outreach Committee at Christ Church in Greenville, DE. Fellow committee member, WFS alumnus, and Outstanding Service Award recipient in 2020, Tom Scott ’70, encouraged committee members to become more actively involved with various non-profit organizations in the area. Ben joined the Board of St. Michael’s School and Nursery; became a mentor and future Board Chair at the Cathedral Choir School; and serves on the Debley Foundation Board with his daughter Katherine Osbun Maki ’92 which funds global development and women’s empowerment initiatives. He also coordinates the collection and distribution efforts of donated items at Christ Church. Each month, parishioners are encouraged to bring in items to support one of the Outreach partners and Ben ensures the process runs smoothly.
Ben is also closely connected to WFS. In 1963, he asked his future bride, Carol Mumford Osbun ’66, to the Junior Prom. Carol and Ben have been married for 53 years and have lived in Alapocas for 42 years! Their daughters, Katherine Osbun Maki ’92 and Kelly Osbun Rubincan ’97, both graduated from WFS. Ben and Carol have continued to be involved with WFS throughout the years, hosting most of the Class of 1966’s reunion parties and serving as dedicated class agents. They were instrumental in the creation of an endowment fund in Memory of Duane Nash in honor of their 50th reunion and Ben participated in the Elder and Child program at the lower school. Ben is also a former WFS Trustee. WFS is grateful for all Ben has done for the school community, and proud to acknowledge his many contributions to numerous other non-profit organizations.
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.
Laura Robelen ’78 was a 13-year veteran of Friends, following in the footsteps of her mother, Lois Moodey ’53. At Friends, Laura enjoyed participating in chorus and especially the annual Spring musicals. She served as Secretary of her senior class. The friendships made at WFS have stood the test of time, thanks to social media, and she regularly gathers with classmates living in the Wilmington area. Laura graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a major in Communication and Theatre and a minor in Psychology. Since 1988, Laura has been a licensed Realtor and is also an Associate Broker. She teaches the Pre-Licensing Sales class for her brokerage Long & Foster. Laura has been a fundraising volunteer for Delaware Hospice for the last 25 years. She has served as chair of The Festival of Trees for most of those years and also serves on the Board of Trustees and as Co-Chair of the Development Committee.