The Gunnery Announces Appointment of New Board Chair
The Gunnery Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Dorton ’86 as its new Board Chair. A Washington, D.C., strategy expert with extensive experience in corporate, financial, public policy, and political strategy and messaging, Dorton has served as a Gunnery Trustee since 2008. He previously served as Vice Chairman and as Treasurer, and as a member of multiple committees of the Board focused on financial and strategic planning in support of the school’s mission and vision.
“The school has been transformed in many positive ways by Head of School Peter Becker over the last seven years. The alumni and parent community need to invest in making this school, which was started in 1850 by Frederick Gunn, a man 100 years ahead of his time, into an institution that will be a gold star for every Gunnery grad,” said Dorton.
“Every alumnus and past parent should take the time to come to campus and reconnect with the school and its leadership team. In many ways, The Gunnery is an entirely different and more dynamic school than in the past,” he said.
Dorton is the co-founder and managing partner of Rational 360, Inc., a communications and public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he served as the chief spokesman and Director of Media Relations at Arthur Andersen and held several senior advisory roles at The White House, including serving as a Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, as Communications Director for the White House National Economic Council, and as a senior advisor for national economic advisor Gene Sperling. Dorton also served as Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary for several members of Congress and the Democratic National Committee.
Dorton holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middlebury College. Raised in Washington, Connecticut, he maintains strong ties to the community. He is a 1983 graduate of Washington Montessori School and a member of the WMS Leadership Circle. He is also the son of longtime Head of School Pat Werner P’86, and the brother of Kerry Dorton, Assistant Head of School for Education at WMS.
A longtime supporter of The Gunnery, Dorton previously served as a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the Search Committee for the Headmaster, as the first Gunnery Council President and as Chair of its Fundraising Committee. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Erin, and their three children, Logan, Eliza and Lily.
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.