Stratton Mountain School (SMS) Founder Warren Hellman dies at 77

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 20, 2011 1:53 pm

Warren Hellman, the co-founder of Stratton Mountain School passed away this past weekend. The well-known ski and snow sport enthusiast succumbed to his hard-fought battle with leukemia on Sunday December 18th.

He had an extremely successful career in Wall Street and at 26 was the youngest person to make partner at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s history. Later on he founded Hellman & Friedman private equity firm with Tully Friedman. Since its inception, Hellman & Friedman has had more than $25 billion committed capital raised!

After his successes in the private equity industry, Warren Hellman co-founded the Stratton Mountain School in the winter of 1970 with Donald Tarinelli. The goal of the program was to be a winter-term tutorial program utilizing Stratton Mountain as the primary training facility. During its first two years the school hosted 15 students, and in 1972 expanded to offer a full academic year curriculum — growing to 140 students! Then in 1976, SMS gained approval by the Vermont Department of Education, and in 1982 the New England Association of Schools and Colleges granted their accreditation. SMS was the first ski academy in the United States to receive such accreditation.

Today Stratton Mountain School is a world-renowned ski and snowboard academy, and still calls Stratton its home. SMS provide academic services to students in grades 8 – 12 with winter programs for 7th graders. Everyone in the SMS community, including students, faculty, coaches and staff share a passionate belief in the pursuit of both academic and athletic excellence. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the school’s founding and kicks off a year-long celebration of the legacy created by Hellman and Tarinelli. It’s a shame Warren won’t be around to experience it for himself, but it will certainly be a year spent honoring his memory.

Hellman is survived by Chris, his wife of 56 years, his sister Nancy Bechtle, his four children Frances, Tricia, Mick and Judith, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

One final note:

Being that Warren has passed, and the fact that it is the SMS 40th Anniversay — the upcoming Annual Winter Ball is going to be one for the history books. The ball is set to be held on Jan. 28, 2012, and has sold out the past three years in a row — so get your tickets ASAP.

Go to www.gosms.org/40thwinterball

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