Jane Cheney Woods '37 (2005)
Jane Cheney Woods' example has set a standard for thoughtful and meaningful membership in a school community. Her depth of loyalty is unusual; her philanthropy remarkable; her insight informed and perceptive.
As a "lifer," Janie spent 12 years as a student at North Shore Country Day, while her family's connection with the School dates back to its inception as one of the founding families. She graduated in 1937, and has continued a life-long relationship with the School. Janie moved from Winnetka to New York and lived there with her husband Hank before settling in New Jersey.
She has carried with her a fondness of Gilbert & Sullivan, needlework, golf and photography—the seeds of which were planted while growing up in Winnetka and while attending North Shore. Her husband Hank served on the faculty as the Head of the English Department and then as a Trustee at The Lawrenceville School, where they became integral members of that community. Her understanding of schools is unmatched; she understands the critical role that quality faculty play in the life of a school and in connections with students and fellow colleagues.
She has consistently corresponded with North Shore's Heads of School, all of whom value and believe in her counsel and partnership. Former Head Julie Hall expressed her appreciation for Janie: "More than I think you realize, you have made a positive impact on the life of North Shore Country Day. You are so good to us and you enable us to do so much good! Thanks to you, our colors fly long and high. Our spirits do, too." And former Head, Dick Hall in acknowledgment of Mrs. Woods' philanthropic commitment to the School stated: "The total flexibility that you give us is wonderful. Such an action clearly reflects intimate knowledge of how school needs vary. "
As current Head of School, Tom Doar has expressed during the last five years: "You understand the value of an independent school education. You have seen first-hand the impact of great teaching, the benefits of a close community and the magic of a close student-teacher and student-to-student relationships. Your interest in and commitment to independent schools, your perspective on North Shore and your insight into the people who make schools work never fails to inspire all with whom you come into contact. You demonstrate what is possible, motivating others in the community to further extend themselves."
She has partnered with North Shore in a variety of ways: as a leadership donor to Annual Giving—that fund critical to the yearly functioning of the School; for scholarship support through The F. Goddard Cheney Jr. Scholarship; to the beautification of the campus, including landscaping in memory of her sister Eleanor Cheney Hollister '31. She has participated in capital campaigns from the EEE Campaign in the '8Os that built The Hall Library to The Hall International Student Scholarship Fund to The Julie Hall Great Teachers Fund in late '9Os that boosted faculty salaries and to the recent Science Center campaign. Her philanthropic spirit has helped to bring countless students to North Shore who have not only benefited by our program but enriched the experience for all in our community. And in contributing to faculty endowment, she has been part of an effort to raise teachers' salaries to competitive levels with the top independent schools.
Janie's example, spirit, generosity and honesty has had a profound impact on North Shore and on those of us charged with guiding it now toward a future stronger than ever before. Her philanthropic commitment is remarkable; her personal commitment most meaningful. For her service to North Shore Country Day School, we are honored to recognize Jane Cheney Woods '37 as the 2005 recipient of The Foster Hannaford Recognition.
Presented to Jane Cheney Woods '37 by Head of School, Tom Doar III
October 13, 2005