Dear EHS Community,
Fifty years ago, James Cavanaugh, Peter Figgie, and Charles Drake stood very near to where my office is today, looked at a hillside with nothing more than a colonial home, a barn, and an orchard, and saw the opportunity to build something remarkable. They saw a place where human diversity would be a cause for celebration rather than a path to certain failure, where students would compete against their own past performance instead of some arbitrary standard, and where teachers would be given the tools for true innovation. Standing on this spot fifty years ago, they could see the dream of Eagle Hill emerging, and in that moment they became the founders of this great school.
During my twenty-four years at Eagle Hill, I’ve seen that dream and more become reality. Most recently, the building of world-class facilities like the Baglio Sports and Fitness Center, Harmsworth Hall, the Cultural Center and others, and our bold decision to become the first IB World School specifically serving students within the learning diversity paradigm, have catapulted us from our humble origins to a premier college preparatory institution. We’ve grown in leaps and bounds and yet, remarkably, we remain small, fiercely committed to each individual student’s needs.
We have dreamed and executed on a grand scale, and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far. And there is still more to be done.
It is my pleasure to announce to you our biggest, grandest, and boldest dream yet. As we look ahead to our 50th Anniversary celebration in May of 2018, it is with both boundless pride and great humility that I announce the public launch of our $50,000,000 Dare to Dream capital campaign. The campaign will allow us to:
-design and construct a 30,000 square-foot STEM Center in support of studies in science, technology, engineering, and math. As part of this project we will also revitalize all of our existing learning spaces, including a dedicated space for the study of entrepreneurialism.
-significantly increase our commitment to financial aid in an effort to continue to develop the diversity and strength of the student body.
-dramatically increase the school’s endowment to preserve the unique and proven educational opportunity that EHS provides for students and their families.
There is no question that a $50,000,000 campaign is ambitious and even daunting for a school that remains intentionally small. However, with the support and commitment of every person in the Eagle Hill community—from families who can give multi-million dollar gifts, to families whose experience with our current financial aid program will guide our planning for the future, to the faculty and staff who give fully of themselves to students and Eagle Hill School every day—we will come together to make this dream a reality. Our school exists in the form it does today because of our unyielding belief in achieving the remarkable. Every single day, Eagle Hill embodies a refusal to be anything but excellent. This campaign is another step on our ambitious path to be, as near as we can, the perfect school.
In testament to the kindness and support of the Eagle Hill community and the belief in our vision, I am delighted to report that we are off to a tremendous start. We have raised just over $26,000,000 in cash and planned gifts over the last fourteen months during the quiet phase of this campaign. We’re just over half way to our goal thanks to the remarkable generosity of our Board of Trustees, our closest friends, and leading current and alumni families.
The name of this campaign appropriately captures our past, present, and future--Dare to Dream. It is what our founders did when they created this school, it is what generations of EHS parents have done as they enrolled their children at Eagle Hill, and it is what our faculty does for their students, day in and day out. Daring to dream is what we have always done, and I promise you that is what we will always do.
PJ McDonald, Ed. D.