When Yuna Evans '13 submitted her application to Exeter, she "knew the odds were against" being able to attend, due to the competitive applicants and the cost of tuition. "Despite my doubts," she says, "I was accepted … and I received a financial scholarship for my entire four years. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Mr. Jim Peterson '63, it was possible for me to become an Exonian."
After Peterson answered Yuna's thank you note, the two struck up a correspondence, bonding over a shared love of France and ice hockey and united in their devotion to the Academy. Yuna, who stayed in touch with Peterson throughout her years at Exeter, was thrilled to have the chance to meet her donor in person when, as co-president of his 50th reunion class, he spoke at the Senior Class Alumni Induction Ceremony for the class of '13.
Describing their first time meeting in person, when Peterson called Yuna up on stage mid-speech, Yuna says, "My heart overflowed with joy as I looked out over the crowd of my classmates, hand in hand with the man who made it possible for me to know them and call many of them my dearest friends … Mr. Peterson's words about the importance of giving back made an indelible impact on me, and I know he inspired my fellow Exonians as well. It is my hope that I will be able to pass Mr. Peterson's generosity forward in some way, just as he did for me."
Yuna says she "feels blessed to be connected to a man who took a genuine interest in my well-being both during my time at Exeter and beyond."
The endowment makes it possible for Exeter students like Yuna Evans and so many other bright, passionate young people to realize their dreams and to continue a long-standing tradition of giving back.