Donor Profile: Brandon Gillespie ’93 and Ashley Stansbury ’93
Brandon Gillespie ’93 and Ashley Stansbury ’93 met as students at Bush in the 80’s. Today they are parents of three Blazers: Madden ’23, Ellody ’25, and Tya ’25. Below are reflections, in their own words, on the impact Bush has had on their lives and families for three generations, and the role of philanthropy in expressing their gratitude and commitment to the school’s future.
“In the time we attended The Bush School, particularly in the later years, the school was still realizing its full identity. And, like many people in their high school years, we were also finding our way as individuals and shaping our views of what our future would hold. That created a dynamic relationship between us as young adults, and the school itself that was very special. It was a journey for everyone involved, including the school. And we all came out the other side better prepared to fulfill our full potential. Knowing that we had experienced such growth in our time at Bush inspired us to give back with the hope that others would benefit in a similar way.
“Bush has been a part of our family’s community for three generations. For us, it is a very special place and it has so much to do with the people we are today. It has helped us to form long lasting relationships with peers and teachers, challenged us to take risks, inspired critical thinking, and encouraged us to do good things in the world. We give because we want others, including our three daughters, to benefit in the ways we have, as Brandon’s mother did before us, and maybe even as our grandchildren could in the future.
“Since we were students at the school, we feel that Bush has done an amazing job of clarifying its mission, educational foundations, and beliefs around the importance of building a community that encourages exploration, values diversity, and pushes our children to develop into independent, engaged leaders. We hope that our future philanthropy will further these efforts through funding priorities such as the new Methow Campus, an expanded technology program, and increased diversity within the community. We love the benefits of experiential education and watching our children grow into well-rounded, confident, and capable individuals.”