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Stories of Generosity

When discussing Stevenson with alumni, it’s common to hear stories of how the School has shaped their lives—as both thinkers and doers. It’s less common, however, to hear stories about how one Pirate affected the trajectory of the School. But the lasting impact of one such alumnus, Dr. Michael L. Jackson ’68, is indelible. Dr. Jackson, who grew up in Los Angeles and San Jose, CA, was the first Black student to attend Stevenson. He was the only Black student when he enrolled in the fall of 1964. Dr. Jackson explains, “In the fall of 1963, Stevenson’s founding headmaster Robert U. Ricklefs proposed to the board of trustees that the School be integrated. He wanted ‘his’ boys to learn how to live, study, work, play, and cooperate with students from other races, cultures, religions, and social classes.” 

Read More about Tales of a Trailblazer: Dr. Michael L. Jackson ’68 Lights the Way for a Diverse Student Body at Stevenson

Though the School’s namesake, the 19th century Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, spent only a few months on the Monterey Peninsula in 1879, his experience here proved to be of lasting significance. Arriving weakened by illness and penniless, he relied on the kindness of strangers to regain his health. One of these people—Jules Simoneau—ran a saloon in downtown Monterey. Educated at the Sorbonne, Simoneau was a trained chef and gracious host, known for providing a warm, welcoming space for artists to gather, exchange ideas, and play chess. For those that could not afford to pay, he would allow them to paint on the cafe’s walls in exchange for food. When Stevenson was too weak to leave his room, Simoneau brought him special meals and the spiritual nourishment of his friendship.

Read More about Jules Simoneau and Robert Louis Stevenson

Who supported Stevenson?

What did donors support?

How is the School funded?


Voices of Generosity

"We choose to donate towards student scholarships and faculty enrichment programs at Stevenson, because we want to prioritize both creating a pathway for kids who want to excel and empowering the staff to guide them. Outside of Stevenson, we also regularly give to our local church, Mount Hermon Association, Monterey Food Bank, CSUMB Covid Fund, American Red Cross, Lebanese Red Cross, and the Loyola Marymount University Day of Giving. We are driven by our faith, which leads us to live what we believe, and we strongly align with Corrie Ten Boom’s statement: ‘The measure of a life is not its duration but its donation.’”

 Denise Wineglass, Parent of Abbey ’20

"Our family motto is: First, you take care of yourself, then, you take care of the community around you. Stevenson is our community. Bryan is an alumnus, and we intentionally moved to Carmel so our girls could attend Stevenson. As members of this beloved community, we think it is our obligation to give because we know that the School relies on donations in order to be the place that serves and nurtures so many. We started the Philanthropy Project at Stevenson so that all students at the School would have an opportunity to learn philanthropy while they are young.”

Iva Winton, Wife of Bryan ’69, Parent of Holly ’24 and Rose ’24

"One of the most important lessons I try to regularly model for my children is that giving is also receiving. Giving opens up our capacity to receive joy, and our joy can overflow to create a lifestyle of gratitude and compassion. I choose to give to Stevenson because I trust in the School’s leadership team—their hearts and their abilities, as well as their vision—which ensures the direction and progress of Stevenson, both now and for the long term. As far as philanthropy outside of Stevenson, I underwrite administration costs each year for our own NGO, Sunshine Academy (www.casunshine.org), which provides education for orphaned Chinese children. We also support Youth Music Monterey, which keeps music alive for our younger generations, and we organized a community-wide mask distribution in the community last spring.”

Emily Yang Bauer, Parent of Katrina ’25, Lance ’20, and Helen ’20

"We give to Stevenson School because we believe that small, private schools have the best opportunity to experiment with innovative teaching methods, technologies, and personnel. While Deven and I grew up in different circumstances, we were similar in our philosophy of self-sufficiency, independence, and making our own way with our own choices. We both also understood that ‘life’ happens and, when possible, you want to provide a hand up—not a hand out. This is the reason why we established the Deven Hickingbotham 1974 Scholarship Endowment, to support Stevenson students through their growth and healing during difficult times.”

Renee Zupon, Widow of Deven ’74, Parent of Hilary ’10 and Carter ’08

"We feel that it is important to contribute to the annual fund so that we can in some small way help provide students with a top-notch education. The administrators, faculty and staff are like a family and we enjoy being part of the Stevenson community."

Susan Lea P ’99, P ’02

"Stevenson is a place of incredible beauty with students who appreciate not only the location but also the community where they go to learn. Sometimes it’s hard to describe RLS to people who haven’t spent much time on the peninsula, so I just tell people that they have to see it for themselves."

Nancy Zahm P ’77, P ’82, GP ’14, GP ’19

"I love the way my children grew up and I think Stevenson had a lot to do with it."

Gloria D'Ambrosio P ’84, P ’87, GP ’17, GP ’23, GP ’26

"I love how at Stevenson students are partners with their teachers in their education. It is a supportive environment to discover who you are and what you love."

Corine Mink ’87 P ’17, P ’23, P ’26

photo of the Pfeiffer family

"Our children are now benefitting from the same wonderful education and relationships with their teachers that James did in the 80s. We can’t name just one or two teachers who have influenced our family, because each of our children’s teachers has made an impact in their own way. They’ve all been amazing, and we thank each of them for their support and dedication."

Lori Pfeiffer and James Pfeiffer ’89, P ’26, P ’29

photo of Ron and Lynn Johnson

"Dr. Michael Jackson has been a major influence on our family. He shared his Stevenson story about being the first African-American student to attend the school in the late 1960s. His positive school experience and interactions with his classmates and teachers helped him become one of Stevenson’s top students during his senior year. Dr. Jackson established lifelong friendships with his former classmates and is currently a Board Trustee. He encourages our son, Evan to work hard in the classroom and while studying after school with his friends.”

Ron and Lynn Johnson, P ’22