Boarding School Dedicates Arts Building to Honor Murdered Trustee

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The White Mountain School, a 125-year old private boarding school in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, announces the construction of a new arts center to be named in honor of Catherine "Kitty" Houghton '60. Houghton, a trustee and alumna of the School and humanitarian and public servant who traveled the world, was the victim of a homicide on January 28, 2013 in Littleton, NH where she was staying following the winter meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Catherine "Kitty" Houghton '60

I cannot think of a better way to honor Kitty than to ensure that the words and spirit of our School song, ‘Lift thine eyes, O lift thine eyes to the mountains...’, are sung as strongly today and in the future as they were then by Kitty.

The White Mountain School, a private boarding school founded in 1886, announces the construction of a new arts facility on its Bethlehem, New Hampshire campus. This building will be named in honor of Catherine “Kitty” Houghton ’60. Houghton, a trustee and alumna of the School, was the victim of a homicide in Littleton, NH on January 28, 2013 shortly after the School’s winter Board of Trustees meetings. Two days later, the Trustees, after personally committing more than half of the funding needed for construction, voted unanimously with the Houghton family’s approval and appreciation to name the building the Catherine Houghton Arts Center. Creating this lasting tribute to Kitty’s memory provides some comfort to the tight-knit boarding school’s campus and alumnae/i community and to the local region as they try to make sense of this senseless tragedy.

Kitty’s lifelong appreciation of the arts, especially music, flourished during her time as a student at The White Mountain School, then St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains, and she was a passionate advocate for the arts at her School. In 2012 she led and supported an effort to fund a new music position at the School that broadened and deepened the School’s arts programming and led to a revival of the wonderful choral tradition so important to her own experience. Her support helped the program grow and highlighted the need for the School to provide teaching space to better accommodate the students’ burgeoning interest in arts.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Barbara McFadden Sirna ’63 offered the following, “Kitty's last official act as a member of The White Mountain School's Board of Trustees was to vote her whole-hearted approval for the construction of a new arts center at the School. Kitty's leadership support of music at WMS was instrumental in the board's decision to move ahead with this important project. I cannot think of a better way to honor Kitty than to ensure that the words and spirit of our School song, ‘Lift thine eyes, O lift thine eyes to the mountains...’, are sung as strongly today and in the future as they were then by Kitty and our fellow alumnae at St. Mary's.”

The White Mountain School is pleased to be able to honor beloved trustee and alumna, Kitty Houghton ’60 in this very tangible way and to be able to continue to advance its students' arts education with a facility that will better support its excellent arts program. The Catherine Houghton Arts Center is being designed by award-winning Ruhl Walker Architects of Boston, Massachusetts and will include studio space for The White Mountain School’s growing programs in music, dance, and visual arts. For the last several years, The White Mountain School has worked hard to enter new construction projects as well as repairs and upgrades to existing buildings with an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainable building practices and intends to continue this with the construction of the Catherine Houghton Arts Center.

Construction of the Catherine Houghton Arts Center will begin in Spring 2013 with a planned January 2014 opening date. The School will celebrate Kitty’s life and host a ribbon-cutting ceremony as part of its Fall 2013 Alumnae/i Weekend events. More information is available on Kitty and the Catherine Houghton Arts Center at the School’s website: http://www.whitemountain.org or by contacting Director of Advancement, Rob Constantine at 603-444-2928 ext. 16.

The White Mountain School is an intentionally small coeducational, college preparatory, boarding and day school founded in 1886. We believe that every student deserves to be fully engaged in their educational experience and, through a challenging curriculum and innovative instruction, encourage students to think creatively and critically. Our students are prepared for college studies and life beyond formal academics, including a commitment to service inspired through active involvement in a wide range of co-curricular activities.

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Robert Constantine, Director of Advancement

Julie Yates, Director of Alumnae/i Relations
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