Stephen Starnes Helps Fund Taft’s Future in Gratitude for Financial Support He Received

Stephen Starnes ’76
Stephen Starnes ’76: Member of the Horace Dutton Taft Society since 2013

Remember Your Benefactors

My grandfather taught history at Hamilton College for over 50 years. In his brief commencement address in 1978, he challenged the graduating class to “remember their benefactors.” It was not only through their own work that these seniors graduated; but it was also the work of their predecessors who made that journey possible.

Without help, my family could never have afforded the price of a Taft education. Dewitt and Lila Acheson Wallace made money available at Taft to give kids like me a chance. Joe Cunningham found financial aid through the Reader’s Digest Scholarship. That made Taft a possibility. Without the help of Taft luminaries like Joe Cunningham, Lance Odden, Ferdie ’66 and Joanna Wandelt, as well as Nancy and Roger Stacey, I never would have made it into a decent college. It is to that group I owe my successful career on Wall Street. I say “thank you” every time I think of the start they gave me.

My grandfather’s admonition to remember my benefactors is why I am a member of the Horace Dutton Taft Legacy Society. It is also why I came back to support this amazing school we all love. So, I repeat, “remember your benefactors.” My list is long, and it continues to grow.


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