The Class of 2019

Elizabeth Simpson

Associate Director of Planned Giving, Western New England University; Age 38
Education: Western New England University (BA, JD, LLM)

Elizabeth Simpson

Elizabeth Simpson

What did you want to be when you grew up? A chemist, a judge, or CEO of the Walt Disney Co. I really wanted Michael Eisner’s job when I was 7.

What three words best describe you? Thoughtful, analytical, intellectual.

What are you passionate about? All things Disney, my family, and my community.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I admire my mother for her compassion, my Nana for her community spirit, my Grandma for her pride in her heritage, my Grandpa George for his intellect, my Grandpa Fran for his strength in adversity, my father for his passion, my nieces for their view of the future, my husband for his confidence, and my aunts for their empowerment.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To make decisions that my nieces, nephew, and future child (due in July) can be proud of or look up to.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? I would love to sit with my grandparents one more time. They all led inspirational lives, and each gave me a desire to never settle. It would be rewarding to share with them what they left behind and how it is continuing to grow. If considering someone unrelated, it would have to be either Walt Disney or Audrey Hepburn. Walt because he was a visionary whose imagination was infectious, Audrey because of her philanthropic spirit and to hear more about her courageous life story.

What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? Half Belle from Beauty and the Beast and half Mulan. I tend to put others before myself, willing to sacrifice, but I also have an immense sense of wonder and integrity.

What actress would play you in a movie about your life? Mae Whitman, as we are the same height.

How do you define success? To me, it’s the impact you leave on others’ lives. While money and titles might be initially nice, they are fleeting. The way you make others feel and the meaningful changes that you can make to the people around you and the community you live in will outlive you.

Photography by Leah Martin Photography

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