On Sunday we honored former trustee and long-time Dublin resident Edward “Ned” Whitney, who passed away after a full and rewarding life. In the last four years I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know Ned through his participation in our board meetings and during trips that trustee David Howe and I took to visit him at his retirement home in Durham. From my first meeting with him, Ned struck me as a man of integrity; the kind of integrity that is revealed in the relationships you maintain, the kids you raise, and the work you do. One of his sons related that Ned was one of those people who made you want to be a better person just by spending time with him.Ned was a determined leader of our buildings and grounds committee for many years during his service on the board. He took pride in the beauty of the campus and in our self-sufficiency in times when upgrades and repairs were needed. Ned, working closely with Carl Von Mertens, was instrumental to the funding and construction of Whitney Gymnasium, a building that has dramatically improved our campus. More recently Ned supported the construction of Gillespie Hall and the new head of school residence while also donating his stunning boathouse on Dublin Lake to the school. Ned truly loved Dublin School and those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him loved him.
During my time with Ned and his family I also learned a great deal about what it means to be a son. Ned’s son Richard (along with his sister Cindy) visited his father almost every day over the last three years. He brought him to our graduations, award ceremonies, and to many of his great-granddaughter’s games at the school. He read to him, took him out for soup, wrote a biography of his life, and arranged the basic necessities of life for him. Thanks to the support of his extended family Ned spent his final years living a life filled with dignity, love and service. I feel strengthened by their example, I feel inspired to be a better person, and extremely fortunate that my path crossed with Ned’s.