“I love this place and one day I hope one of my grandchildren will attend Shenandoah,” said Tom Potter ’61.
Last year, Potter auctioned his 78-piece Thomas Hardy collection through Bonham’s Fine Art Auctioneers. The proceeds benefitted Shenandoah. “So many people go through life and don’t give anything toward mankind. I wanted to help the university to support departments that are doing great things for mankind,” he explained. “Shenandoah gave us an opportunity and now it’s time to see what we can do for Shenandoah.”
Potter has been following the musical ability of two of his grandchildren who are taught by Shenandoah alumni. Last year, his grandson’s voice teacher was Jessica Morgan, who is pursuing her masters at Shenandoah. She is the choral director at Wood Grove High School in Round Hill, Va. His granddaughter’s band director at Kettle Run High School in Fauquier County is Matt Yonkey ’03. Potter’s gift is made in honor of Morgan and Yonkey and benefits conservatory students. His gift will underwrite a masterclass and purchase instruments.
“I want to help people,” Potter emphasized. “I encourage you,” referring to his fellow alumni, “to try to help out, too.”
Since Potter was a student on both the Dayton and Winchester campuses, he experienced the end of one era and the beginning of another. “It’s great to have the contrast from Dayton to Winchester. We have a great university here and we should all be very proud,” he concluded.
Tom Potter was born in Seer Green Bucks in England. His friend, Charles Titus, encouraged him to attend Shenandoah. Potter was a travel industry president whose career highlight is making people happy with his tours, cruises and trips. He lives in Haymarket, Va. with his wife, Joyce.
Written by Jane Danchisen Pittman ’89