Areas of Impact
Tuition assistance. Faculty support. The Woodberry Forest campus. Each priority of the campaign is focused on allowing the school to educate boys.
A gift to support tuition assistance helps us ensure every boy with the talent and will to succeed at Woodberry can become a Tiger, regardless of his family’s ability to pay.
A gift to support the faculty allows us to attract and retain the best faculty and staff who embrace Woodberry’s core values and are committed to building their careers here as they pass those values on to the boys here now and the boys yet to come.
A gift to the Walker Building recognizes that Woodberry has always enjoyed a sense of place, with the Walker Building at the heart of the student experience for the past 120 years, and for many decades to come.
The entire Woodberry experience is built on the work of men and women who came before us. Whether you graduated last year or long ago, whether you are a current parent or your son is now a parent himself, the campus and culture you enjoyed at Woodberry is the product of decades of philanthropic support from alumni, parents, and friends. The Campaign for the Boys is our chance to step forward and guarantee the transformational Woodberry experience for boys here now and boys yet to come.
– Byron Hulsey '86
The Tysinger Family
Ty Tysinger ’62: Sixty Years
of Tiger Service
Travis “Ty” Tysinger ’62 has seen Woodberry from a variety of perspectives. While plenty of alumni have become teachers or watched their sons and grandsons attend the school, few can say that they’ve been a student, three-sport varsity letterman, teacher, parent, development officer, volunteer, and grandparent. Ty, however, has done all those things in his sixty years of knowing the school.
A Culpeper native, he first came to Woodberry for two postgraduate years, during which he lettered in football, soccer, and baseball. He quarterbacked the varsity squad during the legendary Red Caughron’s first two seasons as head coach of the Tigers. While Ty’s tenure as a student was brief, it would play a significant role in shaping his future. “The school embraced me in a way that I had never felt before,” Ty said. “They saw more in me than I had ever seen in myself. It just turned out to be a magical time.”
Throughout his time at Hampden-Sydney College, that fond feeling about Woodberry stayed with him. After his graduation, Ty began an eight-year stint at Woodberry as a teacher and a coach. The Woodberry he returned to felt different.
“I first came to Woodberry at a time when Mr. Walker’s old masters were still a presence and a strength of the institution. But that cadre of wonderful teachers was heading out the door,” he said. “Woodberry needed a little shaking up, and Headmaster Baker Duncan ’45 really got the school going again. He brought in some wonderful new teachers who would become favorites of mine.”
Among those faculty members was English teacher John Stillwell ’45, who also influenced the young Tysinger.
“He and Coach Caughron were the two men who most influenced me when I was there,” Ty said. “But lots of people helped me round out and round up my thinking and my direction.”
Ty and his wife Dottie spent their newlywed years in a growing community of young faculty couples brought in during the Duncan era. Their sons Andy ’86 and Mike ’88 were born during Ty’s first stint as a faculty member. Soon thereafter, they would move to Covington to run an Episcopal boys’ home.
Ten years later, the Tysingers moved to Stuart Hall School in Staunton, where Ty worked as an assistant headmaster under another longtime Woodberry faculty member, Pat Bassett. The two had become friends when they were colleagues at Woodberry in the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, Ty had become more focused on alumni relations and less so on teaching by that stage in his career.
“By that time I had moved into the area of institutional advancement,” he said. “I had come to a point where I was somewhat of a spokesperson for the institutions that I represented. Raising money for quality institutions became my driving force.”
In 1994 Ty returned to Woodberry as a senior development officer and director of planned giving. In that role, he and former Headmaster Dennis Campbell collaborated on some of Woodberry’s most successful fundraising efforts.
“John Grinalds hired me but moved on before very long. The core of my years back there were with Dennis. He was a big picture guy, so he became very open to looking at things a little differently – with some expanded vision.”
During their time together, they spearheaded two capital campaigns that funded the construction of Johnson Stadium, Terry Hall, the Manning Family Science Building, and Kenan Hall, among other projects.
“That was an exciting time in the life of the school, and I think he turned over to his successor a school that was in great shape,” Ty said.
Now Ty and Dottie are making sure their support of Woodberry will continue in perpetuity. Ty is a dedicated class volunteer, and the two have joined the Walker Society by establishing a charitable remainder unitrust, or CRUT. The trust provides income to the Tysingers throughout their life. After their death, the remaining funds in the CRUT become part of the Woodberry endowment funding the Tysinger Family Scholarship Fund.
“When you hit a certain time in your life, you begin to look back on the institutions and the people that have added the greatest amount of quality to your life. And Woodberry is at the head of the pack,” Ty said. “I’ve had the great fortune to work with a number of fine organizations, but Woodberry had me at some really pivotal, formative times. It continued to support me, cultivate my skills, and encourage me in ways that made me very happy about giving back to a place that had meant so much to me.”
The Lummis Family
Fred Lummis ’71: Giving Back to a Place That Shaped Him
When Fred Lummis ’71 arrived at Woodberry as a new boy, he was thirteen years old and had never been east of Texas, his home state.
“It was a major moment of growing up and figuring things out on your own,” Fred said of his time as a student. “It was an experience that prepared me for the rest of my life.”
After attending Vanderbilt University, where he met his wife, Claudia, Fred returned to Texas, earning a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin and settling in Houston. The distance, his business career in private equity, and a busy family life meant he didn’t have many chances to stay connected with Woodberry or his fellow alumni. That began to change when his own sons approached high school age. Though they didn’t attend Woodberry, the experience of taking them to visit campus got Fred thinking.
“I realized that Woodberry meant a lot to me, and that reconnecting with the school and my classmates was important,” he said.
Fred and Claudia joined the Advisory Council, and in 2012 he joined the board of trustees. Not long after becoming a trustee, Fred became chair of the finance committee, a role he held until his board term ended in November 2021. He helped the school chart its recovery from the Great Recession, transition from the headmastership of Dennis Campbell to that of Byron Hulsey ’86, and respond to the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The day-to-day financial management of Woodberry is fantastic, and the school’s financial discipline and oversight stack up favorably with any company I’ve worked with,” Fred said. “There’s a focus on keeping costs down so that we can control the growth of tuition.
”Fred said he and other members of the finance committee carefully track how the school’s tuition compares to that of its peers; last year only three of the top forty boarding schools had a lower tuition than Woodberry. The keys to Woodberry’s success include both expense discipline and the durable, generous support given by alumni, parents, and others to the Amici Fund.
“The Amici Fund is all about what we do together; we control it.” Fred said. He contrasts that fund with endowment funds. “The endowment’s earnings are driven in part by the market, though our investment committee is an outstanding group of experts. The incredible alumni participation in Amici is a huge part of providing resources to the students and controlling the tuition cost.”
Though his time as a trustee recently concluded, Fred continues to serve as a member of the executive committee of the Campaign for the Boys. He led a challenge gift to current and former trustees, which in turn inspired a $20 million matching challenge to the entire Woodberry community from those trustees.
“COVID had delayed us a bit, and I felt like we needed a kick start to reinvigorate the campaign,” Fred says of his challenge gift, which will expand the Lummis Family Scholarship Fund and support the Walker Building renovation. “Giving to support tuition assistance spoke to me because I know the commitment families have to make to attend Woodberry. I want to make sure we are supporting the sons and grandsons of alumni and ensuring they can be Tigers.”
Fred, who recently co-chaired his fiftieth reunion committee, continues to serve as chairman of Platform Partners, a private equity company he co-founded. He is on the board of several of Platform’s portfolio companies and is part of the Houston Astros ownership group. He also serves on several other nonprofit boards and previously served as chairman of the board of Baylor College of Medicine.
Despite all of the calls on his time, Fred prioritizes his commitment to Woodberry for two reasons. “One is because I believe so much in the mission of the school and appreciate what it did for me,” he said. “The other is because of the incredible quality of the educators and staff, as well as my fellow trustees. From top to bottom, it is an enjoyable and meaningful volunteer experience that you just want to be a part of.”
The Davis Family
Jim Davis '99: Making Opportunities Available to All
Jim Davis ’99 spends plenty of time analyzing financial statements and studying the investment propositions of companies large and small. That’s only natural for a man who’s spent the last twelve years managing his own hedge fund, Woodson Capital Management. And though he has a master’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Wake Forest University, underpinning his business education and investing career is the liberal arts education he received at Davidson College, where he majored in history and minored in math, and at Woodberry Forest School.
“A liberal arts education has a lot of applicability to investing,” Jim says. “You distill your learning into a cogent thesis and put that into writing. A lot of wildly credentialed people can be very smart but unable to write a coherent sentence. The advantage to that liberal arts background is learning how to think and communicate.”
He credits David McRae and Scott Tumperi for helping advance his interest in math and teachers like Ben Hale and John Reimers for shaping his skills as a writer and thinker. The ability to think and communicate clearly has served Jim well in recent years, and his success as an investor allowed him and his wife, Meagan, to establish a tuition assistance scholarship in the Woodberry endowment.
“Woodberry made such a difference in my life. It was a great experience of discovery and exploration of different passions and pursuits,” Jim says. “Meagan and I think these opportunities should be available to anyone who’s qualified and interested to shape his future by making Woodberry his home for a few years.” Jim’s path to Woodberry was from his hometown, Greensboro, North Carolina. Though his father and paternal grandfather both graduated from Episcopal High School, Jim’s maternal grandfather was Jim Woodson, Woodberry class of 1935. When considering high schools, Jim looked at both Woodberry and Episcopal, and he decided the Forest was a better fit for him. Jim says his dad was understanding — for the most part.
“But he always sat in the Episcopal fan section when he’d come up to see The Game.” After Woodberry, Davidson, and Wake Forest, Jim became an analyst at Tiger Management, the legendary hedge fund founded by Episcopal alumnus and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate Julian Robertson. Jim arrived in 2006, just as the early tremors of the financial crisis were beginning to shake the investment industry.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be surrounded by so many exceptional, driven, and talented people, and a crazy time to cut your teeth in the business,” he recalls. In January 2010 he decided to start Woodson Capital, eager to measure himself and take control of a fund’s day-to-day decision-making. And to balance out the lessons he learned from his Maroon mentor, he has built ties with plenty of Woodberry Tigers in the investment industry, including Mitch Hull ’77, by serving on Woodberry’s New York Association Board and by participating in meetings of the investment committee of the board of trustees.
Now Jim and Meagan’s gift to the Woodberry endowment will establish a lasting legacy. “It’s not an accident that Woodberry leads the nation in alumni participation and giving,” he says. “The school means so much to its alumni, and we all want to do our part to give back.”
Larry Krieger '65
- pictured on the far right -
Larry Krieger ’65: Supporting the Growth of Young Adults at Woodberry and in California
Larry Krieger ‘65 owes his relationship with Woodberry to the parents of one of his childhood friends. He tagged along on a road trip from his native New Jersey primarily to visit Washington, DC. Woodberry was supposed to be a secondary stop. But by the end of the weekend, it was the columns of the Walker Building, not the nation’s capital, that left the strongest impression.
“The facility itself was so overwhelming. I think that was when I first fell in love with Woodberry,” Larry said. “I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this place is really unbelievable.’”
He followed the visit up with a stint at summer school, where he met soon-to-be classmates Temple Grassi ‘65 and Skip Deegans ‘65. From that point forward, Larry said, his experience at Woodberry was “as good as it gets.” He was a standout on the varsity tennis team and quarterbacked the 1964 Tigers to the school’s first perfect gridiron season in more than twenty years, including a 14–6 win against Episcopal High School. Off the field and in the classroom, he credits his maturation to several legendary Woodberry faculty families.
“For me, two sets of people really changed my life: the Vasquezes and the Caughrons,” Larry said. “I don’t know if anyone can be more looked after than I was by them throughout my time at Woodberry.”
Now Larry is ensuring that future generations of Tigers will receive the same care he received from Red and Cathy Caughron or Bob and Elinor Vasquez. Aside from being an active member of the class and supporting Woodberry through the Amici Fund, he has chosen to join the Walker Society, which recognizes alumni and other friends of the school who have made provisions for Woodberry in their will, as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, or through other means of estate planning. Larry and his wife, Virginia, have resided in Sonoma, California, since 2000. In his retired life he has taken up golf and continued consulting in the health and recreation club industry, a field he worked in throughout his career. Recently, he’s taken up a project with Arthur Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, to restore the Woodland Cemetery in Richmond and add a small museum commemorating the contributions of Ashe and other local Black leaders in the community. Larry is also in the final year of his term on the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma, an organization he sees as aligned in mission with Woodberry.
“When I think of the help and support I got from Woodberry, I like to think our little Boys and Girls Club intervenes and gives that support to these kids,” Larry said. “The kids that come there — for the most part — have normal parents, except their parents are working so hard to survive. They don’t get to set that vision at the dinner table at night where you might talk about college or talk about your schoolwork or set some goals for you. I’d like to think that’s one of the roles we play, and for me it’s been astonishingly rewarding.” Larry is glad this work will carry on at Woodberry through his planned gift.
“For me it’s a relatively easy choice,” Larry said. “How do you afford all these things that help the school progress? All I can really do is give what I have. Putting Woodberry in my estate was something that I thought, even when I’m gone, I still get one more hit.”
Century-Long Partnership between Matthews and Belk Families Inspires Woodberry Scholarship
Only a decade after William Henry Belk started the first Belk Department Store in 1888, he brought J. Houston Matthews and his four brothers to work in the business. Henry Belk personally trained the five brothers, subsequently invited them to join the business as partners and managers, and sent them out to open stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.
In Belk: A Century of Retail Leadership, the Matthews brothers are identified as the Belk family’s longest continuous partners. They exemplified the loyalty of the partners to Henry Belk and the family style that characterized the Belk operation. The partnership lasted from 1898 to 2015, when the New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners bought the business.
Houston’s son, B. Frank Matthews II, and grandson, Gene R. Matthews II, followed the family tradition as partners, stockholders, directors, officers, and managers in the Belk family of stores.
“It is hard to overestimate the importance of the business and personal relationship between our family and the Belks,” Gene said. “William Henry Belk, pioneer merchant in the South, molded, shaped, and nurtured the Matthews men into top merchants in the Belk organization. Our family will always be grateful for our long relationship with the entire Belk family.”
The century-long partnership between the Matthewses and the Belks led B. Frank Matthews II, Gene and Katherine Matthews, and their son Ben F. Matthews III ’06 to establish the Matthews–Belk Family Scholarship Fund to honor the relationship between the two families. In particular, the fund honors Belk family members who attended Woodberry Forest, including J. Kirk Glenn ’61, C. Walker Morris ’70, J. Belk Daughtridge ’71, Thomas M. Belk, Jr. ’73, H. W. McKay Belk ’75, John R. Belk ’77, Charles W. Morris, Jr. ’02, and J. Robert Belk, Jr. ’08.
The scholarship fund supports Woodberry’s need-based tuition assistance program, providing grants that allow several boys to attend Woodberry each year. “If William Henry Belk hadn’t put my grandfather into business, establishing this fund would never have been possible,” Gene Matthews says. “We want to acknowledge our gratitude and honor the Belk family’s service to Woodberry.”
The Asherman Family
Faculty Endowment Fund Established in Honor of Joe Coleman ’79
The Asherman Family Fund In Honor Of Joseph G. Coleman ’79 will support faculty recruitment and honor Joe’s service to Woodberry Forest School. In his twenty-four years at Woodberry, Joe Coleman ’79 has shaped the lives of thousands of boys.
Headmaster Byron Hulsey ’86 spent a year in Joe’s English class when he was a new boy and Joe a new faculty member fresh out of Princeton University. Many boys remember campus tours and interviews with Joe — or hearing from him that they’d been admitted — during his fifteen years in the admission office, which he eventually led as its director.
For the past eight years, Joe has served as dean of students, responsible for the day-to-day health and well-being of four hundred teenage boys. When a student is sick, dealing with a family emergency, or facing disciplinary issues, Joe gets the call. He brings compassion, care, and patience to each situation he handles.
After the current school year ends, Joe and Mary, his wife and Woodberry’s former director of donor relations, will move to Charlottesville where Joe will begin a new job later this summer.
When they learned of Joe’s retirement, Philip and Ellen Asherman and their three sons — Lucas ’15, Ford ’19, and Turner ’19 — knew they wanted to honor his years of service to Woodberry. After consulting with their boys, Philip and Ellen created the Asherman Family Fund In Honor Of Joseph G. Coleman ’79. This fund, which is open to donations from all members of the community who wish to support the faculty and honor Joe, will provide professional development resources to help Woodberry retain great faculty and, as the Ashermans put it, “hire the next generation of Joes.”
“We could never adequately express our gratitude to the faculty and staff who have meant so much to Lucas, Turner, and Ford,” Philip Asherman said. “By honoring Joe Coleman’s devotion to all the young men at Woodberry Forest School, our family celebrates his caring leadership over the years. Joe sets the standard to which future faculty should aspire. He will be missed.”
Bill Hudgins '68 and Wilda Dodson
Walker Society Members Bill Hudgins and Wilda Dodson ’68
When Bill Hudgins ’68 and Wilda Dodson were preparing their estate plans, both wanted to recognize Woodberry’s impact on Bill’s life.
Bill came to Woodberry from the small, southside Virginia town of Victoria, entering as a fifth former.
“I was really in need of a place where I could grow intellectually,” Bill says. “I had a lot of catching up to do and was literally learning to write in those years.”
So as Bill and Wilda were planning, each decided to make a bequest and to join the Walker Society. Wilda’s gift will establish a tuition assistance fund named after Bill, while Bill’s gift will fund a scholarship named after his parents.
“A lot of our property and assets are in our individual names, so making individual bequests lets the school receive a gift when one of us dies rather than after we both pass away,” Wilda says.
The writing skills that Bill acquired as a Tiger certainly served him well. He went on to earn a degree at Columbia University before embarking on a career in journalism that continues to this day. After working at the Nashville Banner he edited several magazines, including one called Road King that was aimed at long-haul truckers and another, American Spirit, that is the magazine of the Daughters’ of the American Revolution. Bill remains a contributor to American Spirit and recently wrote a piece on The Residence for the magazine.
Throughout his life, Bill has leaned on values learned at Woodberry.
“I really embraced the honor system,” he says. “It’s shaped my character and given me a basis to know if I was doing what was right and being fair to people.”
Wilda, a graduate of Rhodes College and the University of Tennessee’s College of Law, practiced law for several years before a lengthy career as a financial advisor with Edward Jones.
“I come from a family that believes in education,” Wilda says. “We’re so impressed with the campus and the people at Woodberry, and we also love the sense of continuity and want to help that continue.”