n Thursday, April 13, Winchester Thurston School celebrated the historic renaming of its Main Building as Molloy Posner Hall in honor of Anne Molloy and Henry Posner, whose extraordinary generosity, remarkable service, and genuine friendship place them among the largest donors and most selfless leaders in school history. A jubilant audience of past and present Board Chairs, trustees, faculty, students, and others joined Head of School Gary J. Niels to recognize the couple.

“Trace the upward trajectory of WT, including enrollment, program development, facility enhancement, and endowment growth and you will find a curious chronological parallel to Henry’s role on the Board,” declared Niels in his remarks. “It’s not a coincidence.”

The couple’s generosity has taken many forms, and goes well beyond philanthropy. Molloy was a stalwart parent volunteer while the couple’s three children were enrolled at WT. Posner, now an emeritus trustee, served as a term trustee for 13 years (1998-2011), the last four as President, and has chaired multiple committees and task forces. Together—from an endowed scholarship fund, to purchasing property that expands the City Campus footprint, to a challenge gift that propelled the Celebrate WT capital campaign to exceed its $20 million goal—Molloy and Posner have set a rare example for leadership and loyalty that began in 1993 when they enrolled Hannah ‘06, the eldest of their three children, followed by Ida ’08 and Gus A’11.

“My parents are strong believers in the very core of WT’s culture,” says Gus Posner, who feels WT’s influence to this day. “‘Think also of the comfort and the rights of others’ has been one of my mottos since hearing it at WT. It is key to having an open mind and having great relationships with different types of people.”

“Two of the reasons that we chose WT for our children were the school’s flexibility and willingness to adapt and the school’s focus on the individual child,” shares Molloy. “Our children received an excellent education, not just in academics but in their total development.”

Like her brother, Ida Posner describes WT’s influence as permanent—and profound. “As I get older, I realize more and more the incredible impact WT has had on me. It was such a privilege to go to a school where I could choose to study what I was most interested in, and to have the resources available to me to start to understand how what I was learning in the classroom could be applied to the outside world.”

Both humbled and honored, Henry Posner is quick to clarify what sets WT apart. “It’s not the building; it’s the people. Remember, this was not WT’s first building: the Pillared Portals still stand on Fifth Avenue and will soon be part of the CMU campus. It is hard to resist the temptation to interpret that as symbolic of WT’s serving as a gateway to higher education.”

Molloy and Posner’s value for education is fundamental to their lives and is exemplified by their exceptional commitment not only to academic institutions, but to the impact on students within.

Their ties with Carnegie Mellon University are testament to this commitment, and their leadership extends beyond WT to include the community at large. “Anne and Henry’s impact at CMU extends beyond their philanthropy; it’s the subtle ways they work to advance our mission, by taking an active interest in the students who benefit from their support, and by constantly thinking of and facilitating the connections they can make for us,” says Dr. Subra Suresh, CMU President. “You know, Anne and Henry are not CMU alumni, but they take enormous pride in our success — because they have played a major role in enabling that success.”

It is a role that Molloy and Posner, committed to facilitating growth and progress, are proud to fulfill. “WT has traditionally occupied a unique position in the educational landscape, while at the same time demonstrating an ability to change with the times,” says Posner. “If there is one thing that I hope we have influenced, it is a willingness to confront as well as embrace change.”

We asked several members of the WT community to share their impressions of Anne Molloy and Henry Posner III. Following are just a few of the reflections.

“When Henry became a board member, I had even more interactions with him as an administrator having to report to the board. He was tough, and…I felt like he was a mentor, in some ways, for me. I listened to everything Henry said. He was honest, he was direct, and he was always helpful, even if I didn’t agree. But he gave me that permission to spar with him, almost; I always felt like I had that opportunity, and I grew from that.”

—Rebecca King, former teacher and Director of Admission

“Henry has remained very constant since I’ve known him. He’s thoughtful, he’s smart, he’s loyal, and he has always been interested in the same things. He’s very opinionated, but he is thoughtfully opinionated. Anne has a quiet strength about her. I think Henry usually is the more prominent of the two, but they are very equally matched. I think she just quietly and deliberately does a ton, and doesn’t really ballyhoo her own accomplishments. She is smart as a whip and can hold her own. She could have been a Winchester Thurston graduate. An honorary classmate.”

Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ S. Hurtt ’74, Alumna, Trustee

The Heart and Hub of WT

The dedication of Molloy Posner Hall is a joyous chapter in the history of a building that has served as the heart of WT’s City Campus since the early 1960s, its very existence a testament to growth and change.

The history of Molloy Posner Hall mirrors the history of Winchester Thurston School: built upon a bedrock of determination and faith, framed by leadership and resilience, and fueled by vision, it continues to advance Miss Mitchell’s legacy of providing a superior education to her students, and to honor her wisdom and foresight in promoting the necessary facilities in which to achieve it.