Alumni Family Legacy

Fenwick's legacy is evident in the number of families with multiple generations of Fenwick students and alumni.

Here are some examples of legacy families that are a part of the Fenwick Community. We know there are many more of you out there, and we would love to hear from you! 

The Potter Family

A common theme in the Fenwick community is seeing multiple members from one family graduate from Bishop Fenwick, and in this case, ten of them did! And why did all members of the Potter family choose to attend Fenwick. According to Bruce Potter ‘74, “My parents were believers in the best education possible for their children, and that a strong education helps even life’s playing field.”
We were excited to connect with all of the Potters: Bill ’65, Rick ’66, Shawn ’67, Mark ’68, Mary ’71, David ’72, Suzanne ’73, Bruce ’74, Adria ’79, and daughter of Bruce, Alexa ’19, for this spotlight story. According to David’72, “There was a point in time that not once but twice there was a Potter in every grade at Fenwick. Attending Fenwick was a family tradition for us!”
A Fenwick education was a common dominator for all the Potters. After Fenwick their professional careers took them in many wonderful different directions: Bruce the COO of a bank, Adria a special education teacher, Suzanne a nurse, Shawn a banking and health care executive, Mary a hospice liaison, Rick a teacher, David an insurance executive, and Bill a member of the CIA. It is clear their Fenwick experience prepared them all very well!
When asked what were some of their favorite Fenwick memories, we heard, “The undefeated 1974 Boy’s Varsity Basketball Team”, “Being in the cast of Camelot my senior year”, “The Friday night dances”, “Speaking at Graduation as the Class President”, “Receiving the Steven Donaldson Award”, and “Being a member of the School’s very first varsity football team”.
Many great words of advice were offered by the Potter family to today’s Fenwick students, such as “Be yourself”, from Alexa’19, “Take advantage of all that Fenwick has to offer, giving you opportunities to explore in a very supportive environment”, from Adria’79, “Stay curious”, from Bruce’74, and “Treat others as you want to be treated”, from Suzanne’73.
Thank you to the Potter family for being such great believers in the Fenwick community. You are all shining examples of the school’s motto: “Goodness and Loyalty”.

The McKay Family

It is not uncommon to have several members from one family graduate from Bishop Fenwick. When all nine siblings from a family graduate from Fenwick, that deserves our attention! We were recently introduced to the McKay family to learn more about this amazing Fenwick legacy. Let’s first introduce you to the family line up—David ’66, Robert ’68, Peter ’70, John ’72, Sheila ’73, Deborah ’74, Patricia ’76, Cynthia ’79, and Janice ’80. If you do the math, this Fenwick family is an entire baseball or softball team!

When asked why they each attended Fenwick, the common answer was that their parents had a very strong belief in education and wanted all of their children to receive the very best education possible. After graduating from Fenwick, the McKay siblings continued to fulfill their parents’ wishes by pursuing college degrees and then earning many advanced degrees. Four of the McKays graduated from Boston College, one from George Washington, another from UNH, another from Salem State University, and another from University of Tampa. Five of the McKays have advanced degrees in either medicine or law. 

When expressing their favorite Fenwick memories, ice cream at Treadwells was a popular response! Other common themes included their participation on athletic teams—football, basketball, and field hockey. The most valuable skills that they learned at Fenwick were strong communication, teamwork, organization, writing, inclusion and faith, and the will always to compete.

The McKays had wonderful words of advice for today’s Fenwick students—volunteer and give back; experience as many classes, sports, and clubs that you can; look for important helpers; and follow your dreams and goals.

The McKays remain a tight and close family, just imagine what their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays must be like! They sadly lost their sister Janice in 2017 and their brother Peter in 2019. They remember them both with great love and respect.

We thank the McKay family for sharing their Fenwick experiences with us. There are several other large legacy families of Fenwick we look forward to sharing their stories with you in a future alumni newsletter.