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The Gordon School

One family’s story

Week four of Gordon's alumni giving month

above: When Martie Livingston '36 was interviewed at home in April 2011 by then-Development Director Kerrie Donahue, she had the prewar version of the Gordon song on the tip of her tongue.

For almost a century, the Livingston family has created an epic tale of engagement with Gordon: as students, as parents, as trustees, as faculty and as loyal givers. 

Martie Livingston '36 attended Gordon in the 1930s. The school was young then, but Dr. Cooke had already established her “open-air school” as an innovative, ever-evolving place.

"It was different from the usual independent schools because they always had something imaginative, exciting and educational,” remembered Martie on a visit to Maxfield Avenue. “It was progressive and always artistic.”

above: Ted Livingston '58 was in the second of four generations of Livingstons to thrive at Gordon

Martie and Stanley Livingston's five children, Ted '58, Magrieta '60, Mary '64, Stanley '67 and John '70 all attended Gordon, as well as Martie's brother, three grandchildren and nieces and nephews. "I think it was because it had so many creative opportunities that I was anxious to have all the kids attend too," said Mrs. Livingston. 

During her children's time at Gordon, Mrs. Livingston served as a member of the Board and was the Board Chair from 1963-1964. 

Martie’s daughter Mary Bush-Brown '64 returned to Gordon as an art teacher, giving her another perspective on the school. “Gordon does a great job nurturing and educating the whole child,” she reflected later, “at least in my experience as a student and teacher. I obviously think the arts and creative side of education is extremely important, to all children, but especially to those who do not always fit comfortably into a more traditional classroom experience.”

Mrs. Livingston's granddaughter Sara Livingston Oliveira '89 especially appreciated the teachers during her time at Gordon. "I have fond memories of my time at Gordon. I remember great friends and teachers there. Most notably I remember my time with Mrs. Beverly Bond who tutored me in reading. We would meet in some little comfortable cubby hole at Gordon to read. She helped turn something that was very hard for me and that I hated (reading) into something I could do and enjoy.”

above right: Martha Wilson '18 with Faith Felder '18 at their Gordon Commencement in June 2018

The family tradition continued another generation when Martha Wilson, Martie’s great-granddaughter, graduated from Gordon in 2018.

Ted Livingston ’58 has been giving to Gordon every year for the past forty years. The school has touched his family in many ways, but he says “I give to honor our mother. She always loved Gordon and sent her kids there when it wasn’t the fashionable thing to do. Mom thought the approach to education was unique. She was a special person."

Alumni: how have you carried Gordon with you in the years since you were here? What are your hopes for the Gordon students of today? Let us know, and and show your support for a school that continues to change the world, at

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