The School gathered input from a wide variety of constituents: alumni, current parents, students, faculty, staff, alumni parents, and friends. Based on that input, the Board and administration have carefully considered a transformational campus master plan that lays out numerous campus improvements to allow for a dynamic educational experience. The School involved the community at large in the ideating, planning, designing, and redesigning processes.
Community philanthropy, and not tuition, will support the master plan implementation. The Board’s Finance Committee may look at annual tuition increases, as they do each year, because of anticipated increases in operating costs, but not because of this building project.
Athenian’s previous Campaign, “The Pillar Campaign” began in 2004 and was completed in 2008. The Campaign raised approximately $12 million - $2.1 million in annual gifts, $1.5 million in deferred gifts and $8.4 million in Campaign funds – exceeding its set goal. The Campaign focused on endowment and a variety of capital projects including The Eleanor Dase Center.
Many alumni and alumni parents representing decades of Athenian experience participated in the design of these projects, including alumni on the board and staff. Based on their input, we have committed to honor the existing Kate and Dyke Brown Hall by keeping its name and maintaining the viewshed as the focal point of the building. The iconic stained glass windows will be preserved and integrated into the new facility. While the new facilities footprint will be bigger than the current Main Hall, it will not encroach on the East Lawn. Finally, other architectural aspects of the original Main Hall will be integrated into the new facilities, including the reuse of the materials on campus. Alumni have helped us ensure that the curriculum and spirit of the school remain the same; it's just the vessel that is changing.
Athenian is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation; thus donors making qualified unrestricted and/or restricted gifts may receive tax benefits. Recognizing that everyone’s financial situation is unique, I would recommend consulting your financial advisor or attorney to further explore the tax advantages available to you through a gift to Athenian.
Capital Campaign gifts may be paid over up to four years and installments can be customized by the donor. Of course, Athenian benefits if pledges are paid sooner, but we know that donors may want the extra time to fund a significant gift.
The Annual Fund and the Capital Campaign support distinct but equally important funding purposes that enable Athenian to fulfill its mission.
Simply stated, an Annual Fund provides "money to live by." A Capital Campaign provides "money to build on." The Capital Campaign has a defined lifespan with a beginning and an end. The Annual Fund is an ongoing, continuing effort.
The Capital Campaign is an intensive, multi-year fundraising effort to secure gifts and pledges to support academic facility and campus improvements that will enhance our creative, collaborative and challenging curriculum. Our current buildings—many designated “temporary” 50 years ago—continue to house classes much as they did at the time of the school’s founding. These spaces do not sufficiently support the ways in which we teach at Athenian. We must shape our campus with spaces that spur experimentation and foster connection, as our increasingly global society demands that we take imaginative leaps, work together, and develop solutions.
The Annual Fund is integral to our core operations. Tuition covers only a portion of the cost of educating a student at Athenian—the Annual Fund allows us to continue providing a critical margin of excellence from year to year, while keeping tuition at a more accessible level. Upon receipt, Annual Fund contributions immediately support our most pressing needs and operational costs.
As Athenian approached its 50th Anniversary, we wanted to strengthen our commitment to providing Athenian’s students with an exceptional education. We’re not only strengthening what and how our students learn—but also where they learn.
The Board and administration carefully considered a transformational campus master plan that lays out numerous campus improvements that will allow for a dynamic educational experience. They prioritized the next set of campus projects that would have the greatest impact on the student experience.
Early in the process, we conducted a study to see how people would react to the proposed plans and to help us determine how much philanthropy we could inspire towards specific projects.
Utilizing recommendations received from the study along with input from various Board Committees, the Board voted to move forward with “The Athenian Campaign”, a $12 million Campaign in support of campus enhancements – the expansion of Kate and Dyke Brown Hall and the construction of an Innovation Lab and new classroom buildings.
Contributions to Athenian come in the form of personal checks, credit card payments, or pledges to be paid at a later date. Another option is a gift of securities that is both simple and tax efficient. Gifts of appreciated stock may allow a donor to avoid a capital gains tax in addition to receiving a charitable income tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock.
Many companies have matching gift programs, which increase the value of your gift. Please check with your company’s Human Resources Department. The matching gift must be initiated by you once you have contributed to Athenian. When we receive the paperwork from the company, we can verify that your gift was made and complete the necessary documentation.
To finance this new construction, our Board of Trustees has approved a philanthropic campaign to raise funds from our community with additional support from financing. Athenian's financial situation is very solid, allowing us to undertake this project from a strong position.
The Campaign will be funded through private gifts from members of the School community: parents, alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents, faculty, and friends. We are also seeking assistance from foundations. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, every member of the community, past and present, will be contacted in regards to supporting this effort. For independent schools like Athenian, capital campaigns are standard practice in fundraising for infrastructure improvements. Just as community philanthropy has sustained our School for the last 50 years, we believe that our current families will want to invest in the future of Athenian.