The New Canaan Community Foundation will present this year’s annual Volunteer Recognition Awards on Thursday, November 15th at 5:30 PM at New Canaan Town Hall. This annual event honors local volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation honors inspirational volunteer efforts and Carver is honored that Dick Whitcomb is the 2018 Hall of Fame recipient!
As most Carver visitors here know, Dick Whitcomb has been a stalwart and inspirational Carver volunteer, donor, advocate and board member for decades! Without question, Carver’s year after year growth and success would not have been possible with our Dick’s leadership in so many ways and times.
Dick Whitcomb did not just take up his career in education to make a living. He did it because he could not imagine living any other way. That passion took Dick from Vermont to the pinnacle of his profession in Connecticut.
In 1961, Dick Whitcomb began preparing students for success in life in at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan. In 1980, Dick was named Headmaster and was pivotal in the growth and stature of the school where he remains Headmaster Emeritus. In 2002, Dick retired and then founded a scholarship fund to enable economically challenged students, many from Norwalk, an opportunity to attend St. Luke’s School. In late 2010, Dick founded the Richard and Barbara Whitcomb Foundation to extend his philanthropy to many others, especially to the Carver community. For many years, Dick’s unofficial office has been the conference room in the Carver Community Center. In addition to general operating support, Dick is especially committed to financially supporting Carver’s college scholarship fund.
Since his earliest years at St. Luke’s School, Dick and his students have been volunteering at Carver. Several years ago, Dick formed Carver’s Strategic Planning Group, which brought many new resources and leaders to the Carver community. Dick also recruited the significant financial and in-kind support necessary to renovate the Carver Community Center, which had not benefited from such thoroughgoing renewal since the day the building’s construction in 1975. Carver awarded Dick its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Carver’s 75th anniversary year.
Each year, Dick is a leader on the Carver Board of Directors, the committees serving each of Carver’s major special events, such as Carver’s annual gala and golf outings, and a close counselor to Carver’s longtime executive director, Novelette Peterkin. Dick is also a mentor to any number of Carver students, not a few throughout their college and graduate school careers.
Throughout all of his success as an educator, philanthropist, and volunteer, what has inspired Dick the most and something he has never forgotten, is the help he received as a young man growing up. He remembers all the hard work and dedication his mother gave as a single mother of three. He recalls the many individuals who stepped into his life, guided and supported him. “That’s why I’ve never been big on individual accomplishments. I don’t think anyone can be successful individually. You can’t accomplish anything without the support of others.”
Carver certainly could not have achieved what it has to date for Norwalk’s youth without Mr. Whitcomb’s unwavering and extremely generous commitment to Carver’s success.
Congratulations and THANK YOU!