Ravi and Yvonne Mallela
Lisa Donohue ’83
Board President Lisa Donohue ‘83 describes her time in Milton’s classrooms and playing fields as outstanding. However, it is her senior project—an unpaid internship at a small, Boston-based advertising and marketing agency—that remains one of her most transformational experiences. “I took the subway into the agency then came back for track practice. It was wonderful; it reaffirmed what I wanted to do.” After graduating from Brown University, Lisa began her career with Leo Burnett in Chicago. She rose through the ranks there and at other agencies to become the CEO of Starcomm, traveling around the globe advising Fortune 500 companies. Lisa credits Milton with helping her to think critically, essential in understanding her clients’ industries, while Milton’s diverse student body gave her exposure to working with people from different backgrounds. “There was a certain confidence Milton gave me early on, a confidence that the broader experience instills,” Lisa says. “After Milton, you can tackle anything.” Lisa gives back to Milton in many ways, including making the School part of her estate plans. “I want others to have the same experiences as I had. Not just professional success, but success as a person.”
Jackie Bechek P ’06 ’07 ’10
Jackie Bechek’s family spent 13 years at Milton, and Sophie was their “lifer.” Bechek shares that her daughter loved art and reading, but somehow was convinced she wasn’t good at science. In sixth grade, everything changed when Sophie’s science teacher, who had a PhD in biology, used zebrafish to bring classroom lessons to life. “Not long after zebrafish were introduced to the kids, Sophie introduced zebrafish to our family—bringing them home with her,” Bechek shares. “She and all the other students were suddenly infatuated with science.” Today, Sophie has an undergraduate in neuroscience from Brown University and is starting a residency in anesthesiology at Mass General Hospital. Bechek, now living in South Carolina, keeps close ties to Milton. She gives thanks to all of her children’s teachers who helped remove limits they placed on themselves, and encouraged them to try, fail, and try again. “Great teachers belong at Milton,” Bechek says. “I’m grateful for the teachers who shaped the lives of my kids. For me, gratitude comes with a sense of responsibility.” With trust in Milton’s leadership, Bechek made an unrestricted campaign gift and also supports the Milton Fund.
Deval Patrick ’74
Former Governor Deval Patrick ’74 shares that he enjoyed extraordinary teachers at his public school on the South Side of Chicago, but opportunities were limited. His family and Milton Academy saw his potential. At 14, Patrick arrived at Milton thanks to a scholarship. With guidance from compassionate teachers, he found his intellectual home. “The longest-lasting lesson Milton instilled has been integrity,” Patrick shares. “Learning is a lifelong and personal undertaking, a responsibility, and citizenship was part of the expectation. You had a role in building community that went beyond being a student in the classroom or a scholar-athlete. The longer I live, the more important I think those lessons are.” Today Patrick supports Milton through his will and speaks powerfully about financial aid made possible by philanthropy. “I believe faithfully and deeply that talent exists in every city, every town, and that it’s important for people to be exposed to talent that comes from diverse, unexpected places,” Patrick says. “Being together makes you challenge all kinds of suppositions about yourself. I think it is enormously important that Milton create the opportunity for students who can’t afford it but who bring just as much energy, curiosity, and creativity to the table as students who can.”
Doug Crocker ’58
Trustee Doug Crocker ’58 built a successful career in real estate, with a determined start as a loan officer at Shawmut Bank to building a premier apartment company—with many adventures in between. The key to surviving the ups and downs of a volatile commercial real estate market? Resilience honed at Milton Academy. “Like many teenagers, I was unaware that Milton was providing me with the tools to succeed in business and in life,” Crocker shares. “Competition on the wrestling mat and in the classroom helped to prepare me for ‘real world’ challenges. Learning to ask why and seeking answers for every question helped to develop my analytical skills. The solid work ethic and ‘never give up attitude’ helped to guide me. The road was not without bumps. I never gave up and kept moving forward.” Crocker supports Milton in countless ways, including through the creation of a charitable remainder trust. The trust allows donors to receive income based on the trust’s assets; upon the death of the last beneficiary, the principal is then released to Milton Academy. “I see Milton as a laboratory developing the best way to educate students,” Crocker shares. “It is a place where leadership is taught and values are instilled. Establishing a planned gift allows me to invest in a place that gave me such an important start—a place that will continue to produce the leaders we need.”
Make your gift online or discuss opportunities to support a Milton initiative with Chief Advancement Officer Lisa Winick at 617-898-2305 or email@example.com.