Josie Walker's Sourdough Endowment Fund
“ It’s not about the play, it’s about the kids.” – Josie Walker
The Legend of Sourdough
The discovery of gold near Coloma, California in 1848 ignited a massive influx of prospectors to the
area from all over the world. Among the few prized possessions brought along for the journey were
jars of sourdough starter—the mixture of fermented flour and water used to make bread without
commercial yeast—that held the promise of a full belly. To thousands of hopeful (and hungry) miners,
those jars of cultivated wild yeast represented a semblance of stability and a taste of home.
Josie Walker-Halsted believed in the legend and importance of sourdough as something that has the
awesome power of being passed from person to person, throughout generations, in perpetuity – as
long as the bond remained unbroken. Josie’s respect for young people and the adults who supported
them was evident as she nurtured to grow living “sourdoughs” to stay driven, survive, and more
importantly thrive so they could expand their capabilities of helping the world be a better place.
We remember Josie, as recalled by some of those who knew and loved her ...
"The biggest impact she had on me was her natural ability to create a sense of belonging and community.”
“Mrs. Walker Ma’am was one of the best of the best. She was certainly a legend who cherished her students and her career as she inspired thousands to love music and theatre.”
“She will ever remain a model of teaching with joy and empathy.”
“Josie created a space where you truly felt that every person in the circle, every part in the show, each individual person was unique and celebrated and part of the whole.”
We wish to dedicate ourselves to ensuring that the sourdough, started by Josie, is maintained in
perpetuity. To achieve this goal, we have begun a campaign to create the Josie Walker Sourdough
Endowment. This fund will be able to provide an annual award to a deserving high school graduate
from Andover whose life and passions have been enriched by the theater experience - and who is
committed to using the knowledge, experience and skills they gained to ‘pay it forward’... to make
the world a better place...to ensure that the memories we have of Josie form a perpetual
contribution to the quality of life.
Establishing a permanent fund that provides this award will ensure that while the personal memories
of Mrs. Walker Ma’am may fade, her legacy will not. The stories of her contributions will be
perpetuated and the legend of the permanence of sourdough will be very, very real.
W. Douglas Hasted III
Shorey Walker McMillan