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George School Annual Report | 2015 – 2016


This year our report focuses on the impact of giving on the George School community—on the campus, on technology, on programs, and, most importantly, on our people—our involved, inspiring faculty and wide-eyed and open-minded students, who benefit so tremendously from a George School education. Time and again, George School families and alumni point to our warm, diverse, respectful, and supportive community as the heart of what makes the school strong. When you contribute, that community grows even stronger. Every gift makes a difference to us and our future by opening doors to a George School education, supporting and expanding academic and extra­curricular programs, enriching the campus life experience, and so much more. This is our way of showing you where your donations go.


This is our way of saying thanks.

A complete list of donors who contributed to George School between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 is available online at


Your gifts inspire us. They power the community that is George School.


≠ 80% Tuition & Fees ≠ 15% Endowment Income ≠ 4% Annual Fund ≠ 1% Auxiliary Programs


≠ ≠ ≠ ≠

41% 31% 16% 12%

Educational Program Financial Aid Administration Physical Plant

Every Gift Makes a Difference

Gifts to the Annual Fund

A significant portion of the operating budget—19 percent —is covered by donations to the Annual Fund, gifts for capital and special projects, and income from gifts to the endowment funds. Your contributions make a huge impact on our community, the quality of instruction and programs, and the continued financial viability of George School.

The Annual Fund augments tuition revenues and helps support all that goes into providing an exceptional George School education. Gifts to the Annual Fund in 2015–2016 were more than $1.3 million. Leadership gifts represented 70 percent of Annual Fund giving. We send special thanks to all our young alumni who helped George School beat Westtown School to capture the Machemer Cup and win the Loyalty Challenge.

Why Your Support Mat

Endowment gifts ensure our tomorrow. They provide a continuing stream of annual revenue—drawn from investment income—and a safeguard against lean times. The value of the George School endowment is $149.7 million for FY 2016. We have attained a 4.0 percent three-year average return. Our endowment is smaller than average when compared to our peer schools. The endowment per student at George School is $277,000 compared to the average endowment per student of $351,600 for peer schools.

Our 124-year-old campus will always be in need of improvements. Replacing our aging boilers, upgrading sewer lines, and making windows more energy-efficient are vital to the health and well-being of the community and our sustainability programs.

Gifts to George School 2015-2016 Gifts to Endowment

$ 5,230,000

Gifts to Annual Fund

$ 1,312,807

Unrestricted Planned Gifts

$ 1,214,826

Gifts to Capital & Special Projects



$ 8,312,026


Annual Fund Gifts by Constituency Alumni & Students

$ 656,578

Current Parents



Parents of Alumni



Businesses, Foundations, Friends & Trusts



Current & Former Trustees



Current & Former Grandparents



Current & Former Faculty & Staff


5,0 1 1


$ 1,312,804

ters to George School


Gifts to Capital and Special Projects


Gifts to Endowment

< Karen Nolan ’14 College: Skidmore Favorite GS food: Bettye’s chocolate

< Fritz Hillegas ’15 College: Princeton Memorable class: In Cheri Mellor’s IB SL Spanish 4, we created skits.

chip cookies Most interesting class: IB Environ­

Everything was going smoothly, and then a classmate came in with a pink wig and goofy voice. The skit was hilarious, and we were in tears. At George School, classes can be so close and so safe that you can be silly or serious without feeling judged.

mental Sciences with Becky Hutchins. She helped us turn a bunch of random ideas into an actual group 4 project, and we did really well.

> Myung Won Seong ’16 College: London School of

> Abigail Harrison ’14 College: Haverford Lessons learned: Failing is how I

Economics Favorite teacher: Ralph Lelii is more than a favorite teacher. He is my role model. He has a heart of pure gold. Whenever you meet Ralph, he comes up with a compliment so personal, so detailed, and so thoroughly thoughtful that you feel blessed.

learn, but George School raises me up every time I do. I have never felt more safe and accepted anywhere.

< Simone Dreux ’16 College: Harvard Lessons learned: George School

changed my life. It helped me gain confidence in so many different aspects of life. I was able to challenge myself in the classroom while trying new activities and meeting new people away from home.

< Harrison Fritz ’14 College: Virginia Tech GS soundtrack: George School

Hymn remix Proudest moment: Being surrounded

by my freshman prefectees on Red Square after coming back from surgery showed how much love is in the George School community.

> Peter Ryan ’14 College: Penn State I love George School because: It simul­

taneously fosters a willingness to be unique and a desire to be part of the community. Message to would-be donors: George School listens. If somebody has a serious interest or problem, the school is willing to find a solution if resources are available.

< Ayushi Kokroo ’15 College: Emory That’s so George School moment: I

was sitting on the C while students played four square. The ball got stuck in the tree it always got stuck in, but this time out of reach. So a freshman got on a junior’s shoulders and shook the branches with everyone giving advice and support. When the ball came down, we all cheered.


The rich tapestry of student backgrounds and perspectives is a hallmark of George School, as these young alumni demonstrate. Learning from fellow students, often in unexpected ways, is an integral part of the George School experience. While we have managed to keep tuition increases below 2 percent annually— significantly less than the increase at most colleges and universities—current tuition is still beyond the reach of many families. Your gifts for financial aid ensure that the students who can get the most from and give the most to George School can attend regardless of their ability to pay.

$36,975 was the day student tuition for 2015-2016. 5

my voice mattered. And that if I wanted to see change made in the world and if I wanted to be happy with myself, I needed to speak my mind and be unapologetically myself.



< Qudsiyyah Shariyf ’15 College: U Chicago Lessons learned: GS taught me that

Using skills from computer science and engineering, George School students design, build, and program robots as diverse as the students who create them. All of the robots share core featuresâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;electronic sensors and a movable structure under some form of autonomous control at a level of design normally found in college labs. This year, our well-equipped robotics and electronics lab added Pixy smart-vision sensors to the mix. These sophisticated, object-tracking cameras replaced common range-finding sensors and were

programmed to respond to a variety of objects within a human-like field of view. The annual Robotics Open House in 2016 featured student projects including a robot that retrieved golf balls for a putter. Another, dubbed a SmileBot, changed facial expressions based on the proximity of a viewer. Still another was a navigational aid for the blind and visually impaired. As our students reach new milestones in physical computing skills, new technologiesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;made possible by your generous giftsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;challenge them to dig deeper.

$750 provided ten smart-vision sensors.



Robotics: Programming for Success

Play like a child at the Spring Carnival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Plan a weekend of skiing and snowboarding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Enjoy Harvest Weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . Play, sing, and dance with your friends during Live Music Weekend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dress up for Spirit Week representing your homeland . . . . . . . . . . . .

George School Weekends

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Celebrate the Lunar New Year and Diwali, the Festival of Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Study in your dorm room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . Dress up for an elegant dinner and dance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Compete with your teammates or go Cougar Crazy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Enjoy Ultimate Frisbee

are Magical

$2,750 made Harvest Weekend a favorite with bonfires, pumpkin carving, apple butter, and hayrides.

Revolutionary Theater

Every year, George School theater and music students put on a show. This year’s production of Les Misérables was indeed revolutionary. To put on such an ambitious, nearly three-hour performance, it took the creativity and hard work of forty-two actors, seven musicians, thirty-three crew members, and lots of costumes and rights, programs and lights, paint, greasepaint, trap doors, and barricades. Luckily, waiting invisibly in the wings were donors, whose investment in the teenage cast and crew was repaid by amazing performances and thunderous applause. Packed audiences were impressed and inspired by the beautiful voices, professional acting, and intricate staging. Our students had an unparalleled challenge—one they met with resounding success—and, as with everything at George School, shared as a community.

$3,000 paid for royalties and music rental for this year’s production of Les Mis.

paid for two new boilers to deliver energy-efficient steam heat and hot water to campus buildings.




Creating Warmth

These bright blue boilers arrived on campus this year to replace the workhorses that labored for seventy-six years to provide heat and hot water for nineteen buildings. Needless to say, the old boilers were well past their expected useful service life, and their maintenance and repair costs were rising each year. Clearly the time had come to replace the old gray giants with two new high-efficiency, 250-horsepower, fire-tube boilers. The expense was significantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; almost $600,000â&#x20AC;&#x201D;but their operating cost will be significantly lower than that of their predecessors. Projections show that the new boilers should pay for themselves in energy savings alone in about ten years. Their arrival is a great step forward in reducing our carbon footprint and an affirmation of our commitment to be faithful stewards of the environment.

$1,725 paid for a faculty member to travel with students to the Mississippi Delta, where they got to know an unfamiliar and underserved community, performed service, and “learned to be open.”

Jake Malavsky ’15

Carly Fried ’16

This morning one of the Habitat workers got a call telling him to get a group of us to a canoe shop that was flooding. From the street, everything seemed to be okay, but three stories down, below the levee, the river was quickly rising. About half the group waded through the knee-­ high water to the base­ ment door, where several workers were already building sandbag walls and bailing out water. We helped collect important documents and books and passed them up through a hole. At about 1:30 p.m. we had done just about as much as we could. The water line was still rising. John, the owner, was very grateful for our help.

Mississippi was unlike any­thing I had ever expe­rienced. Instead of shut­ting down in the face of the dif­ferences, we were encour­aged to open ourselves up to them. For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of the trip was our interaction with the communities that we were serving. Every day after we finished work­ing, the children of Clarksdale would show up in front of our house want­ing to play games. Even more than the assigned physical work, our real service happened during those afternoons of tag and hide-and-seek. In Mississippi I learned to be open—open to different cultures, ideas, and traditions.

It’s only the second day here, but between the immense progress we have already made at the house and the bonds that have been formed with the neighborhood kids, it feels more like a month. All the hard work being put into building one house and doing some repairs on another leaves us with little energy by the evening. That being said, the neighborhood kids have enough energy to go around.


Greetings from Mississippi

Harrison Young ’16


Since Hurricane Katrina, teams of George School students have spent their spring break working with Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi, where they help build affordable houses alongside those who lack adequate shelter. These are their stories.

Thanks to you...

“We can take courses like Theory of Knowledge, where we are taught to question what we think to be knowledge and to expand our horizons.” Che Williams ’16 “We are part of an incredible community where teachers push your limits and guide you to succeed and where you create friendships that will last forever.” Emi Moscoso ’16 “Teachers like Tom English can make learning history seem like a necessity, rather than a task.” Johvensky Plaisime ’16 “Students of varying backgrounds can discover their direction in life.” David Freckleton ’16 “The diversity of our community has a tremendous impact. Whether discussing an issue, helping each other understand a difficult math concept, or sharing a precious moment of silence in meeting, everyone’s voice matters and is heard.” Brooke Levy ’16

A complete list of donors who contributed to George School between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 is available online at

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George School Annual Report 2015-2016  

George School Annual Report 2015-2016