David L. White, 1952
For nearly fifty years, David White has dedicated his life to journalism and serving his native home, Bermuda. His career began in 1950 when, as a 16 year-old Vermont Academy junior, David interned at the Royal Gazette, Bermuda's daily newspaper.
A four-year student at Vermont Academy, graduating in 1952, David was active in all facets of life at the Academy. After graduation, David enrolled at Bard College in New York, where his love of the written word flourished. Upon graduating from Bard, David was recognized as a John Bard Scholar and received the Fairbaim Prize, the highest academic award presented by the College. After graduation, David went to England, where he studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, earning a Bachelors of Jurisprudence.
In 1967, he became the first Bermudian ever designated as a Commonwealth Press Union Fellow, the Commonwealth's highest educational award for journalists. Later that year, he became assistant editor of the Mid-Ocean News, and was appointed editor when it became a weekly newspaper in 1968. After five years in this position, David became assistant editor of the Royal Gazette in 1973. On July 1, 1976, he rose to become editor and remained in that position until retiring in 1998. During his tenure, the paper thrived. When David went abroad to press meetings, people would remark that the Royal Gazette was one of the best small papers in the world. David summarizes his work as "writing editorials, supervising and delegating work," and always saw things that could be improved. In fact, David credits Vermont Academy for instilling "the kind of Puritan conscience which says you must always strive to do better.”
In addition to David's achievements as a journalist, his accomplishments as a volunteer and ambassador are even more impressive. Throughout his professional career, David has been involved with dozens of charities, many of which he has served as chairman. Some of these include the Bermuda Historical Society, the Bermuda Society of Arts, the Bermuda TB, Cancer and Health Association, and the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society. For 17 years, David served as a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and was a founding appointee to Bermuda's National Alcohol and Drug Agency.
In 1993, David became president of the Bermuda National Trust for Preservation and Conservation--Bermuda's largest charity. He also found time to volunteer at Vermont Academy, serving as class agent for the Class of 1952 for 20 years, and hosting several admissions recruiting receptions in his Bermuda home. Perhaps the crowning jewel of David's life, however (other than his daughter Leslie Ann), was his investment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, during a ceremony that took place at Buckingham Palace on November 1, 1994. It took some doing to get David back to the Vermont Academy campus to receive his Sabin Award.
He hosted a reception for 100 at his house on Thursday; on Thursday and Friday, he presided over the largest-ever opening at the Bermuda National Gallery, where he is Chairman of the Board, and he had to return to Bermuda on Sunday to host Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, for a fund-raising dinner the next Tuesday at the Gallery. We are proud of David White, both for the work he did while at Vermont Academy, and for being such an excellent ambassador for our school and for his country.