Jim Laird '65
Leaving it better than we found it
James W. Laird ’65 was taught by his father early on about the importance of giving back to those institutions and people who make a difference in one’s life.

In today’s world we often refer to a legacy bequest as “paying it forward.” When Jim sadly died in April 2020 at his home in Florida, we learned that he left a gift of $5 million to help endow Millbrook’s Financial Aid Program. As a result, future families and generations of students will be the fortunate recipients of his generosity.

During his life Jim engaged in numerous philanthropic causes, including musical, theatrical, and social organizations. In today’s Millbrook lexicon, Jim certainly subscribed to the Millbrook value of “leaving things better than we found them.” While at Millbrook, Jim figured out ways to help serve the school community. He worked tirelessly with Mrs. Grove and his fellow students to stage the perennially popular book fair in the Flagler Memorial Library. His experience as a member of the Library Community Service Committee led to his lifelong love of reading.

Jim did not graduate from Millbrook as he left after his Vth form year. In the ensuing years, he kept the school on his radar, and when he returned to campus in June 2019, he was immediately struck by the school’s growth and development since his days on campus.

All of us who care about Millbrook are grateful to Jim for his generosity. His gift sets a high standard for ensuring excellence on campus.