The Putney School community mourns the loss of alumna, longtime member of the board of trustees, and former board chair Sarah Kerlin Gray Gund ’60, who died on August 17, 2023.
Sarah met her first husband, Bill Gray ’60, her first day at The Putney School. They married after college and built a life in Vermont. Together they skied, farmed, and raised their two children. Following Bill’s death in 1994, Sarah remained connected to Vermont and the Gray family. She married Geoffrey Gund, a former roommate of Bill’s, in 2000, and they spent 23 happy years together.
Sarah’s life was an embodiment of unwavering commitment and boundless generosity to The Putney School community. As we reflect upon the legacy left behind by Sarah, we are reminded of the profound impact one individual can have on shaping an institution.
Throughout her lifetime, Sarah exhibited a commitment that went beyond the ordinary. She dedicated herself—through her work and her philanthropy—to bettering students’ experiences, especially those with learning differences. Sarah worked as a learning specialist throughout her life and was deeply respected in that field. In 2018, Sarah and Geoffrey endowed a faculty position at Putney’s newly founded Center for Teaching and Learning.
Sarah’s philanthropic endeavors were not just about monetary contributions; they represented a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of human lives and a fervent desire to make a meaningful difference. She understood that her time at Putney was a gift that continued to give, and she tirelessly gave back, most recently with a gift with Geoffrey to the construction of a new dormitory, Hepper House, which Sarah and Geoff named after her longtime mentor and their friend, Hepper Caldwell ’46.
Sarah’s friend, fellow alumna, and trustee emerita, Kate Ganz ’62, said, “Putney was the most important thing that ever happened to Sarah in her early life. It shaped everything she believed in and the way she chose to live from that time forward.”
Putney will remember Sarah as a beacon of integrity and compassion. We will reflect on the lives she touched, the friendships she nurtured, and the aspirations she kindled. Her legacy will forever remain intertwined with the spirit of The Putney School, reminding us that an education extends far beyond the classroom walls and that the true measure of a life lies in the positive impact we leave on the world.