Lizzy Moran ’06 and her sisters feel fortunate they were able to attend Westminster, and they want to help provide others with a similarly enriching education.
“The education that my sisters and I received at Westminster was far more than the subject matter we were able to study,” said Lizzy, who resides in Seattle, Washington. “Westminster provided a safe place to explore our interests and strengths, and to experience the power of sharing those discoveries with our community. It is obvious today, more than ever, that a very small population has access to this type of incredible education. We want to help change that.”
Opening Doors for Students
With her parents, Michael and Anne K. Moran, Lizzy and her sisters, Caroline ’09 and Emily ’12, committed to a multiyear gift toward a scholarship fund. “Education opens doors that otherwise wouldn’t be open,” said Lizzy.
She learned lessons at Westminster that she has carried with her into adulthood. The school shaped and grounded her, while also helping her grow and learn.
Learning to Take Risks
“I vividly remember walking onto campus as a Fourth Former and experiencing the overwhelming sense of community,” said Lizzy. “Your responsibility as a student extends beyond just personal concerns of success. At Westminster, you are tasked with contributing to the growth of the community. To learn the value of one’s role in a greater collective at such a young age is rare.”
During the first day of her Moral Philosophy class, she remembers faculty member Todd Eckerson sharing a paper for which he received a low grade while a student at Williams College. He told the class that it’s OK to fail. “Failure is when we learn and that’s where the most growth takes place,” she remembers him saying.
The lesson gave her permission to take risks and fail so that she could grow. “Pushing yourself and putting yourself out are encouraged, but there is always that foundation of ‘We’re here to support you when that failure takes place.’ ”
Lizzy came to school with stage fright. She loved to sing but felt insecure about singing in front of others. She pushed herself out of her comfort zone, and by her Sixth Form year, she sang in Cabaret due to the support of her peers and teachers. “I never would have done that if I had not been in such a safe space that Westminster provided,” she said. Today, as a women’s health coach and educator, public speaking is second nature to her.
The Support to Succeed
In the small, supportive environment where faculty members give so much more than lessons, Lizzy could tell that her teachers cared and wanted to see her succeed.
“Reflecting on the amount of time and energy each faculty member gives to so many students, fills me with such gratitude,” she continued. “They are so much more than teachers. They are mentors, friends and family. That kind of support can really change the trajectory of a young person’s life. My family and I want to ensure that more students, regardless of their financial situation, will have the opportunity to learn and grow at Westminster.”
Above: Since his appointment in 1982, faculty member Todd Eckerson has helped guide Westminster students, like Lizzy, in the classroom, on the athletic field and as the former dean of faculty. Today, Todd teaches a Civic Engagement course that helps Fourth Form students engage in meaningful dialogue. Todd was named to the Gow Senior Master Chair in 2018, an honor that recognizes the faculty member with the longest tenure.
To learn how financial aid provided opportunity for Dallis Alvarez ’18, please watch watch the short film below.
“I vividly remember walking onto campus as a Fourth Former and experiencing the overwhelming sense
Lizzy Moran ’06