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Campaign Update Fall 2012

Message from the Campaign Chair Greetings and welcome to the inaugural issue of the Dare to Do More Campaign Update, a periodic forum in which we hope to keep the Agnes Irwin community informed about this historic capital campaign. I’m so appreciative that we have this opportunity to shed light on the many types of support that have gone into bringing the Dare to Do More campaign to the point where it is currently; to highlight some key indicators giving credence to our claim that this is the boldest effort in 50+ years of being on the Rosemont campus (it was, after all, rather bold of our forebears

to move here in 1961!); and to envision for you our plan of where we’re going in the Dare to Do More campaign and how we’re going to reach our $40 million goal. It all comes down to LEADERSHIP. In 2000, the Board of Trustees, under the direction of Chair Kathleen Putnam and Head of School Penney Moss, led the visioning for a 10-year strategic blueprint of where Agnes Irwin could be – should be – needs to be in order to best serve the girls and young women whose families entrust their care and Continued on page 2

Campaign Chair Jim Buck

A Conversation with Leadership Donors Former Trustee Stevie Lucas and her husband, current Trustee Chris Thompson, have the distinction of entrusting the education of five daughters to The Agnes Irwin School. They provided the first major gift to the Dare to Do More campaign. Stevie is a member of the Leadership Gifts Committee and served for 10 years on the Board of Trustees. Chris, or CT for short, is on the Parent Campaign Committee and joined the Board of Trustees in 2012. Collectively, they have had four daughters graduate (’07, ’09, ’11, ’12) from Agnes Irwin. A fifth daughter is in ninth grade. You were the first family to make a capital campaign gift to AIS. What was the reason you raised your hand before you were even solicited? We were part of the feasibility study and had already spent some time thinking about what we’d like to give back. As I was a trustee, I

economy of the past few years had already delayed the project and timing became critical. Describe the AIS experience as you have witnessed it through your daughters. We have five girls who have attended Irwin’s for a total of 46 kid years and counting - as our youngest just started Upper School. The school has always delivered on the highest quality education while providing the girls with a safe environment to be themselves and find their own voice. The ones who have graduated have all gone on to leadership roles in college. Chris Thompson and Stevie Lucas

felt that I might be able to help jump-start the project and keep it on a good time line by making an early commitment. The challenging

Stevie, you served on the Board of Trustees for years, and CT you have just recently joined this board. What has been your singular impression of this board’s leadership as we entered the capital campaign and a new era for the school? Continued on page 4 • 610.525.8400

Campaign Progress w Campaign goal: $40 million w Raised to date: $22.5 million w Number of gifts to date: 109

$22.5 million raised $17.5 million to be raised

• Six gifts over $1 million • 18 gifts in the range of $250,000 to $500,000 • 17 gifts of $100,000+ • 68 gifts of $25,000- $50,000 • Board of Trustees gifts total $10 million

Message from the Campaign Chair From page 1

growth to AIS. The result was a three-phase master plan that recognized the importance of “key spaces” – for learning, engagement, participation – in educating Agnes Irwin students in the 21st century. The school began implementation of the master plan in 2004, with the design and construction of a totally re-imagined Anne S. Lenox Arts Center and Hamilton Science Center, which have proven, time and again, that buildings matter, as our girls have excelled in S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) at the high school, collegiate and career levels. Excellent new faculty came to AIS, drawn by its commitment to science, technology and the arts, and dedicated AIS master-teachers embraced training and led curricular redesign, to meet the new demands in their rapidly changing disciplines. In short order, following the completion of the Arts & Sciences building, Agnes Irwin then set about addressing the needs of another critical place of learning, the Lower School. In 2005, on the strength of the successful construction of Arts & Sciences and with substantial capital support from the Agnes Irwin community (combined giving of nearly $17 million), the school set about redesigning critical spaces for our community’s youngest members.

AIS constructed a wonderful new Lower School science lab, PreK classroom and dining hall–all spaces to accommodate the needs of young learners. As with the Arts & Sciences building, our Lower School became a magnet for families seeking a stimulating and supportive environment for their daughters, to ready them for advanced secondary education. Excellent faculty and administration followed, as Agnes Irwin nurtured the strong relationships it has with beloved tenured faculty through enrichment programs here and elsewhere. Extraordinary leadership was a common thread throughout the first years of the plan, but never more so than when the board and administration had to respond to change – both external and internal – that threatened the momentum built through the early part of the decade. Though the master plan “blueprint” called for the school to embark on design and planning work to launch its most ambitious effort yet – building new dining, student, and athletic spaces for the Middle and Upper Schools – the board determined our community was not prepared for this in light of turmoil in the economy and transitions in school leadership. We would have to wait.

’77 in place, the stars aligned in 2010 such that by January 2011 a quiet “nucleus phase” of the capital campaign was under way. I was selected to lead this effort, with the goal of securing gifts and pledges from the innermost supporters in our community (board members, past lead donors, etc.). A successful year of this pre-campaign, combined with an extraordinary plan to rethink our approach to student life, dining, technology and athletics for our Middle and Upper Schools, persuaded the board to lead again by authorizing this incredible Campus Improvements Project in March 2012… and I dare say, our community has spoken with record giving, enrollment and volunteer support. The Agnes Irwin School will never be the same again! Please enjoy reading some other stories, facts and figures about leadership in the rest of this issue. And, doing so, please help me acknowledge the remarkable examples of leadership on display through actions initiated by administrators and faculty, trustees, parents, alumnae, and, yes, students – all who say they Dare to Do More! Thank you. Campaign Chair Jim Buck

Well, with Dr. Mary F. Seppala, Head of School, and Board Chair Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld

Visit, for regular updates, photos and detailed information about the Campus Improvements Project.


DO YOU KNOW? Dare to Do More Campaign FAQs What is the timeline for the capital campaign and why?

of the Agnes Irwin Fund during their commitment timeframe.

This is a more abbreviated capital campaign than most – partially dictated by the building phase of the Campus Improvements Project – begun in June 2012, to be completed in September 2013. Our fundraising actually began in January 2011 and will continue until June 2014.

If I cannot give a large amount, does my gift really matter?

What happens to annual giving during the capital campaign? Annual giving is an essential supplement to the school’s operating budget that enriches educational and extracurricular experiences that are unique to Agnes Irwin. Every gift, every year to the Agnes Irwin Fund is vital and supports our students, faculty and programs with $1.2 million in necessary funds (the goal for 2012-2013). All capital campaign donors are asked to “stretch” by continuing their support

Every gift of every size matters to the success of the campaign. While we have focused on major gifts to date, in order to ensure success in our $40 million goal, all gifts are appreciated and will be celebrated. (As this project is all about serving the Agnes Irwin community, it is most appropriate for support to come from as many members of the school family as we can attract.) You may also wish to designate your gift to a specific area of the project and have your name be listed on one of our donor walls. What if my daughter is graduating and will not benefit from the new facilities? Your gift, like all our gifts from loyal alumnae, will benefit future AIS generations, perhaps your own daughter’s children! The campaign for this project will leave a legacy for the next generation that continues to ensure AIS’ reputation as an outstanding school for girls. It seems as if resources are being steered toward sports and wellness in this campaign. What if athletics is not my family’s priority? All our girls will benefit from our expanded and improved campus facilities. The central gathering spaces, the new dining and student center, an Innovtion Lab for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) projects and multi-media spaces, as well as a greatly enhanced academic schedule will vastly improve the lives of all students and faculty in years to come. Can I make my gift over time? Campaign gifts are typically pledged to be paid over a three-year to five-year period, which enables donors to make gifts at higher levels. However, your pledge could even begin three years from now and still be counted in our pledged totals for the campaign.

Board Chair Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, surrounded by the Class of 2013, speaks at the Topping Off Ceremony on November 12 for the Campus Improvements Project.

Read about nine tax-wise tips regarding the “fiscal cliff.”


Stevie Lucas and Chris Thompson

Capital Campaign Cabinet

From page 1

I was on the board for 10 years before Chris took over this year. The current leadership of the board as personified by Ann Sonnenfeld is committed, energetic and focused. The board speaks with one voice about providing the facilities to complement the faculty, all working together to provide state-of-the art girls’ education. As volunteers for the campaign, what are the most important questions you hear from our families when you visit with them? My experience has been that families consistently speak about the wonderful things going on at school everyday and how that impacts their girls. They are knowledgeable about the project and want to help in a way that works for their personal situations. How would you describe the other volunteers who are leading this campaign? Jim Buck, Capital Campaign Chair, has been a tireless leader who brings all his considerable skills to the table on behalf of the school. The other members of the Leadership Gifts Committee, the Alumnae Campaign Committee and the Parent Campaign Committee see the need for the project and they are passionate about meeting the goals of the campaign. In your opinion, how will these new facilities change the AIS experience? Wow, in so many ways! The obvious is the new Athletic Center and gym - you will actually be able to sit and watch games in the gym without taking your life in your hands! New squash courts and a rowing center will enable those sports to continue to excel. One of the most important parts of the project that isn’t always apparent at first blush is that the new dining center will enable improved scheduling in the Middle and Upper Schools and have a direct, positive impact on the girls’ academic days. How will those of your daughters, who are now alumnae and will not have the benefit of these new buildings and fields, feel about the improvements to their school? I can tell you that the two who have been home this fall made a point to drive by and look at the construction. They were awed by the scope and magnitude. I can’t say that they aren’t a bit jealous, but they take such pride in their school and are excited for the younger girls to enjoy the enhanced facility. Do they keep in touch with their AIS classmates? Yes they do! Andi was co-chair of her fifth year reunion last May, and we hosted the girls at our home for dinner. I stay in touch with a lot of their friends through Facebook as well. What do you believe are the most important reasons to make a gift to this campaign? AIS is an exceptional place that provides unprecedented education for our daughters. Part of that commitment to girls includes their physical well being and healthy lifestyle. The school cannot do it alone and relies on the philanthropy of its community in order to continue to excel. We are at the highest enrollment in our history, which is a tangible measure of our excellence. This last phase of our strategic plan following the Arts and Science center and Lower School renovations will complete our campus and allow our community to continue to set the bar in girls’ education. Is there anything you would like to add? Other comments? GO OWLS!!

LEADERSHIP GIFTS COMMITTEE Jim Buck, Chair P ’13, ’15, ’17 Jenny Kinkead ’84, Trustee Deanna Leicht Loughnane ’85 P ’18, Trustee Stevie Lucas P ’07, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’16 Derek Pew P ’13, ’16, Trustee

Ex Officio Mary F. Seppala, Head of School Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, Board Chair P ’13

HONORARY CAMPAIGN CHAIRS Pat McPherson ’53 Betty Moran P ’74, ’76, ’85; GP ’01, ’02, ’02, ’04, ’13 Ray Welsh P ’79

ALUMNAE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Ginny Sharp Williams ’88, Chair P ’20 Laura Thomas Buck ’49 P ’74, ’77, ’82; GP ’10, ’18 Susan Cauffman Butterworth ’76 Charlotte Hamilton ’05 Laurie Buck Marshall ’74 P ’10, Trustee Emerita Leanne Merz McMenamin ’90 Anita McMullin ’81, Trustee Pat McPherson ’53, Honorary Campaign Chair Connie Anne Phillips ’83 Lindsey Wilkins Press ’01 Sally Schoettle Randolph ’58 P ’88, ’90

Ex Officio Ann Laupheimer Sonnenfeld ’77, Board Chair P ’13

PARENT CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Jamie and Michael Haines P ’20, ’22 Liz and Matt Kamens P ’13, ’19 Sean McCarthy P ’18, ’20, ’23 Jennifer Paradis P ’10, ’15 Kristen Schinella P ’22, Trustee Lauren Sullivan P ’18 Chris Thompson P ’07, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’16, Trustee Jacques Vauclain P ’21 Tom White P ’13

Ex Officio Mary F. Seppala, Head of School

For more information about the Dare to Do More Campaign, please contact Margaret Welsh, Director of Development or Pat Voigt, Director of the Campaign. The Agnes Irwin School, Conestoga Road & Ithan Avenue, Rosemont, PA • 610.525.8400


Dare to Do More Campaign Newsletter  

The inaugural issue of The Agnes Irwin School's Dare to Do More Campaign Update newsletter.