Author: Kathy Zotnowski
2020 has been a year of loss for everyone, yet it is still hard to believe that in a matter of weeks our community lost alumnus Tom Pollock ’60, alumna and Alumni Liaison Marion “Ruth” Weil ’60, and beloved former faculty member, Sandy Wayman. Their untimely deaths shook us to our very cores.
Tom Pollock ’60
Tom was the grandson of founder Louis Zalk and attended the school from the sixth grade through graduation. He went on to Columbia University, Stanford Law and reached the pinnacle of success in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Tom was an icon. As a studio head, he released films and gave opportunities to directors that no one would, among them Spike Lee. In speaking with the students and faculty as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, Tom said that most of his ethics and interest stemmed form what he’d learned at Happy Valley.
Marion Weil ’60
Marion Weil was unparalleled in her generosity and love of Happy Valley. She spent thee last ten years of her life in service to the students and alumni. Marion was the number one contributor, both in giving countless hours of her time as the Alumni Liaison and her financial resources which numbered over a million dollars. She worked tirelessly to reconnect alumni and connect students to larger opportunities. She became a champion of Annie Besant’s vision for our community and gave talks to the students through our Distinguished Speaker Series events (public speaking being something she was terrified of and called it her Aún Aprendo moment). Most recently, she was involved on the ad-hoc committee to form the Alumni & Friends Council (AFC) with a goal of raising a 10 million dollar endowment for student scholarship – the initiative to be a part of the “Honoring the Women of Happy Valley Through Philanthropy” Campaign.
As CEO, Alex Smith, noted, beloved faculty member Sandy Wayman “had been a constant source of support for our students at Happy Valley/Besant Hill School for decades. Truly a kind and beautiful soul that made a difference in our lives.” Along with her wife and BHS faculty member, Tina Leslie, Sandy spent almost 30 years on staff, teaching, tutoring, and assisting students in countless ways. Sandy will be remembered for her smile and love of sports – especially women’s basketball.
The Alumni and Friends Council
The common purpose of the AFC is alumni outreach with the goal of cultivating relationships that engage with the school, the current student body, and each other.
Besant Hill School of Happy Valley
8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd
Ojai California 93023
Your donation helps the AFC’s work in keeping the BHS/HVS alumni community connected and supports alumni events in planning for the future.