Resident Trustee, RiverWoods Exeter
Walter has spent most of his life learning and teaching mathematics, since he first began to see its wonderful simplicity and complexity early in his college years at Dartmouth. His other academic credentials include doctoral work in mathematics at Princeton and a Masters in Education at Harvard. He had early experience with research focused on artificial intelligence working at IBM. He taught briefly in a college but most of his teaching has been in independent secondary schools: his own (Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania), Philips Exeter, and finally Sidwell Friends School and Maret School after he had retired to Washington, DC. For twenty five years he worked at being successful in the classroom while also being Headmaster at Mercersburg. Since returning to Exeter seven years ago, he has tutored at Philips Exeter. For four years he was Executive Director of the Edward E. Ford Foundation, which serves independent schools, and for 20 more years he served on its Board, fifteen of those as Chair. Other commitments have been tied to his work in independent schools or the places where he and his family have lived: for the former – the Boards of the Pennsylvania, Greater Washington, and National Associations of Independent Schools; and for the latter – the Boards of the Mercersburg Development Council, California Court Condo Association, Sheridan Kalorama Call Box Committee, and Electric Earth Concerts; and an assortment of committees at RWE.
Tom Donovan is a New Hampshire lawyer who spent most of his career as a partner at McLane Middleton, the state’s largest law firm. His practiced focused on commercial and intellectual property litigation. He was also engaged in the management of the firm.
Outside of work, Tom has been actively engaged in community activities. He has served on the boards of directors of many nonprofit organizations, and has chaired the boards of Waypoint, Leadership New Hampshire, Norwin & Elizabeth Bean Foundation, Palace Theatre, and the Foundation for the Development of Democratic Rights (Hungary). As an elected member of the Manchester School Board, he chaired its finance committee. He chairs the finance council of St. Anne-St. Augustin parish.
In 2014, Tom and his wife joined the United States Peace Corps, serving for more than two years in Botswana. They were principally engaged in HIV prevention activities at rural secondary schools. Tom also taught math and coached softball and track.
Upon his return from the Peace Corps, Tom spent seven years as the Director of Charitable Trusts in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. Tom led a bureau responsible for the oversight of more than 10,000 charitable organizations. He instituted enforcement actions relating to management and governance failures within charities, reviewed merger transactions for health care organizations, and trained many boards of directors in their fiduciary responsibilities.
Tom is a New Hampshire native. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.