A Toast to our Future | Tilton School

A Toast to our Future

By: Jane McNulty

Typically, summer on the Hill is relaxing and quiet, the days punctuated by the sound of birdsong and crickets. That was not the case this summer! On any given day, the campus was abuzz with the sound of power tools and heavy equipment; it was a summer of progress.

There were four capital projects completed over the summer and we can’t wait for you to see them! All of the projects were made possible because of a number of incredibly generous individuals who chose to make Tilton a top priority in their philanthropy. We are a better, stronger community as a result of their investment in our campus and the confidence these benefactors have in our collective future. Put another way, these people—quite literally—make the place.

The Masiello Family Terrace and The Masiello Dining Commons

This past summer, the Charles E. Tilton Mansion, originally built in 1861 and placed in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982, received extensive work to the exterior of the building and the surrounding gardens.

The first phase of this preservation and restoration project came to fruition as a result of a generous gift from the Masiello Family Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation along with a grant from the Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). This stage of the project included a new roof, restoration of the chimneys and porches, preservation of the architectural details, a fresh coat of paint, and all new landscaping and exterior lighting; it’s an amazing transformation!

The Masiello Family Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation also supported the dining hall renovation. The new Masiello Dining Commons is a total renovation of the dining room and servery, allowing for improved traffic flow and adequate seating for the entire community. Updated flooring, lighting, furniture, and the restoration of the wood-paneled walls makes for a bright and beautiful new social hub on campus.

While the Masiellos clearly demonstrate a deep respect for the past by honoring our iconic places, they are also playing a significant role in fostering a bright future for local students. Each year, The Masiello Scholarship supports deserving students from neighboring towns who otherwise would be unable to attend Tilton. Zoey ’19, a recipient of the Masiello Scholarship says: “Because of Tilton, I was able to pursue interests I did not know I had, embrace my role as a leader, and, most importantly, thrive (with lots of help) in the classroom.”

The ripple effects from the Masiello family’s generosity are profound. Matt ’90, currently serving on the Board of Trustees, is playing an active role in guiding and stewarding Tilton for the next generation of students and their families.


“We are a better, stronger community as a result of their investment in our campus and the confidence these benefactors have in our collective future.”

Alumni Amphitheatre

The events of the last 18 months have underscored the need for multiuse, functional outdoor spaces. Thanks to Holly and John Shaughnessy, the Alumni Amphitheatre is now a beautiful space to gather for school meetings, theatre productions, concerts, visiting speakers, classes, or just to enjoy some sun and fresh air. The new amphitheatre is centrally located off the academic quad and adjacent to Hamilton Hall.

The Shaughnessy family’s philanthropic support isn’t just focused on physical spaces; they have been supporting student-athletes at Tilton for the last two decades through the P.J. Shaughnessy ’02 Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Shaughnessy Family Scholarships. John, a member of the Board of Trustees (and quite possibly Tilton’s most avid hockey fan), and Holly have had a profound impact on Tilton students. Jamie ’20, a Shaughnessy Scholar who is now a sophomore at Williams College says: “Not only would I not have ended up at Tilton if it wasn’t for the generosity of the Shaughnessy family, but they provided my own family with an outlet of love and support through their kind words and actions after I lost my mother.” Jamie hopes to one day follow the Shaughnessy’s example and make a difference in the lives of young people.

Hamilton Family Pavilion

James A. Hamilton, class of 1918, served on the Board of Trustees from 1949-1983 and was a loyal supporter and friend to Tilton throughout his life. Among the many initiatives that he supported during his lifetime, Hamilton, a hospital administration expert, designed and funded the health center, which is named after his first wife, Sabra M. Hamilton. In recognition for his extraordinary contributions, in 1982, the same year he received the Alumnus of the Year Award, Alumni Hall was renamed Hamilton Hall in his honor. Recently, his grandchildren made a generous gift in memory of their grandfather—The Hamilton Family Pavilion. The Pavilion sits at the gateway to the Back 40 and is a space for yoga, outdoor classes, cross-country running and skiing, and is a great place to spend quiet time surrounded by nature.