Cliff White ’76 believes in the power of connecting young people to global cultures. In fact, he believes in it so strongly that he took his own children, now young adults, around the world, to countries as disparate as Myanmar, Peru, Morocco, and more. “It was the best educational experience my kids ever had,” he says.
Back when he was in high school, says White, this kind of global perspective wasn’t necessarily on the radar, at Rivers or elsewhere. But it is Rivers’s more recent emphasis on a broader approach that has convinced White to include Rivers in his estate plans. “My wife and I support the idea that a high-quality education is the best gift you can give to children,” he says.
By his own admission, White was “a pretty immature child” when he arrived
at Rivers in ninth grade. “My parents thought I would be more focused and less distracted” at Rivers, he says, than at the public school he’d been attending. His experience at Rivers was positive, both inside and outside the classroom, and his ties to the school have, if anything, grown stronger since graduation.
White initially thought he’d study engineering in college, but, after dipping a toe
in those waters, he discovered that the world of finance was more to his liking. Today, he lives in Providence and serves as institutional consulting director for Graystone Consulting, a business unit of Morgan Stanley.
White has also devoted a significant amount of time to Rivers over the years. He has been a trustee and a member of the Alumni Council, serving as that body’s president for three years. As a trustee, he worked on several committees including finance, development, faculty affairs, and more. The list goes on and on, and it’s perhaps no wonder that White was chosen to receive the Rivers Cup in 1993, given annually by the alumni association to a member of the alumni body who has shown extraordinary dedication to Rivers. He also made lifelong friends at Rivers, and he looks forward to attending his 45th reunion next spring.
White says that Rivers is “dramatically different from when I was there,” and as far as he’s concerned, the changes are all for the good. “There’s more of a world citizen view now, and that’s crucial for our children,” he says. “The more modern Rivers, with its greater emphasis on diversity, and its ways of getting children out of their bubble to have experiences elsewhere, is what drives us most to put Rivers in the planned-giving category.”