William H. Moran, Purnell School’s third Head of School, from 1979-1998, passed away on November 25, 2012, after his two year fierce battle with brain cancer. Bill lived in Alstead, New Hampshire with his adoring wife Judy and surrounded himself with family. As Headmaster at Purnell, Bill will be remembered for being a friend and a mentor to all. He always greeted everyone with a smile, was always very kind, and never said a negative word about anyone. He just saw the best.
Bill was born in River Forest, Illinois, on October 5, 1943. He was a graduate of Oak Park High School and Yale University, Class of 1965. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and then his Master’s degree in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 1969. Bill went on to receive a teaching fellowship at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Following his studies, he taught English and was the Dean of Students at the Cranbrook Boys School in Michigan, then was the Dean of Students at Kingwood Girls School in the same town.
After his leadership at Purnell, Bill served not only the educational community but that of his own town as a Trustee for Far Hills Country Day School in New Jersey and as a Trustee at Massachusetts’ Pine Manor College, and as a Selectman in Alstead for three years.
He raised two sons on the Purnell campus, Trevor and Todd. Trevor now resides in New York with his wife, Laila, their new baby Bella, and Todd and his wife, Kelly, live in Collins, Colorado with their son Ryder. Bill had a wonderful and full family that also extended to so many Purnell graduates.
Bill took to Purnell’s mission and honored each individual student, building the self-confidence of so many young women while instilling an emphasis on personal connections and compassion with the faculty. He could always be counted on to bring calm to chaotic situations; support to students in need; and an infectious laugh to any situation. He believed in life-long learning, teaching lessons that would resonate in everyone and in every situation. He believed the best in every student and faculty member and helped to raise funds for Purnell that have built the buildings that make the campus what it is today. He laid a foundation for Purnell and leaves a legacy for all.
A service will be held on April 27th on the Purnell’s campus to celebrate Mr. Moran’s life and share stories of all the lives he touched. More information will follow.
Donations in Mr. Moran’s memory may be made to the Fall Mountain Food Shelf in care of Mary Lou Huffling, PO Box 191, Alstead, NH 03602 or to the Trust Fund for the Care of Alstead Cemeteries, in care of Bruce Bellow, 78 High St., Alstead, NH 03602. Donations to Purnell School in his memory will be added to the Legacy Fund in support of Purnell’s endowment, ensuring the vision of Purnell, for which Mr. Moran also leaves an indelible mark.
To see the "In Honor of Bill Moran" photo album go to the Purnell's website.