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Endowed Scholarships A T




“I can’t stress enough the importance of every contribution and what

GABRIEL HAMMOND ’97 Board of Regents

a difference that makes, particularly when you are thinking about deserving scholarship students and what type of an impact that has on the Mercersburg community.”

S T U D E N T S:



In their own words, Mercersburg students comment here on the value of their endowment-generated scholarships. Their stories reveal the kinds of financial pressures that families face today when considering a boarding school education. Their stories also show that the generosity of their benefactors is not lost on them. Indeed, these students’ understanding of the concepts of philanthropy and stewardship is already becoming a central aspect of their Mercersburg experience. The humility in these young men and women is as appealing as their talents, which are just now emerging, full force, at Mercersburg. This period in their lives is critical. Scholarship dollars that provide the full complement of educational opportunities at this stage in adolescent development can truly shape a lifetime of accomplishments.


LORENZO VAZQUEZ ’13 | Bushwick, NY Alan P. Shepard ’61 Memorial Fund Davenport Family Scholarship Fund Donald B. Freedman, M.D., Scholarship Fund

“I met the man who created one of my scholarships, and I thanked him. I told him that Mercersburg was an opportunity I would never take for granted. My mom is a single 2

parent and the bookkeeper for a real-estate firm. I could not have come here without my benefactor’s help. I first learned about Mercersburg through the baseball program at the Boys’ Club in New York. I am very serious about baseball, and now I’m in my third year of playing baseball, football, and track here. Coach Karl Reisner is the best. I see myself in sports management or psychology in the long run. The academics here are way more challenging and engaging than I experienced in public school. My ties are also greater here to friends from different backgrounds. I am so grateful.”

JORDAN SHIHADEH ’14 | Leesburg, VA Finley B. Hess ’24 Scholarship Fund

“I think about where I’d be if I were still in public school—the sheer size of the classes and how hard it is to get extra help. People weren’t very accepting there, either. I know a lot of people back in my public school who have just given up. So I really wanted to come to Mercersburg, but my parents are divorced, and resources are limited. My dad told me I couldn’t possibly go to Mercersburg without a scholarship, so I worked really hard on my essay. I was so excited to come here, and I can’t believe there is so much to do. I am still working really hard. I’m scared of not doing well, but my adviser is amazing. I love the people here, how they help you.”

MAX FURIGAY ’15 | Asheville, NC Lenfest Legacy Scholarship

“My dad was in the Class of 1985, so I always heard about Mercersburg. The school where I came from had classes of 30 to 35 people, and here it is more like a dozen people in a class. There is so much individual attention. I am taking art classes and as many advanced classes as I can. I am on the swim team. I have been playing piano for eight years, and when I was living at home, I practiced about two or three hours a week. Here I can play two hours a night. It is the best environment. Mercersburg is structured so that you can get the most out of everything. This is definitely the place for me.”


ALEX JACKSON ’15 | Greencastle, PA Cora I. and John L. Grove Scholarship Fund

“Mercersburg has absolutely fulfilled my expectations and then some. It has offered me more opportunities than I could have imagined—the Declamation team, cross country, and theater. I am so fortunate. Both of my parents work in public education, so I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my scholarship.”


MIKAELA ORBON ’12 | Black Mountain, NC George W. Baxter Sr. ’36 Scholarship Fund

“I had never even considered the possibility of boarding school. My family didn’t have the resources. Then I started getting letters from all these schools after I took the SAT in seventh grade and did well. I applied to five schools, and two offered enough assistance to make it possible. I picked Mercersburg because of the studentto-faculty ratio and all the amazing resources here. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. There are people here who change your life—teachers who become lifelong friends. I’ve traveled to Chile on an exchange program, gone through the outdoor-education program, and played lacrosse. I will probably major in physics in college, and I feel like Mercersburg has really helped me set my sights higher than I ever imagined.”

DENISE M. DUPRÉ ’76 President, Board of Regents

“Mercersburg was a fork in the road for me that made an enormous difference in my life. I want to do everything that I can to give back and to help the next generation of students.”

MERCERSBURG: ACADEMICALLY ELITE AND SOCIALLY EGALITARIAN A defining characteristic of Mercersburg Academy has always been the composition of its student body. The school’s ongoing commitment to build a learning community that is both academically elite and socially egalitarian has resulted in an expansive mix of students from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, and nationalities. For students today, learning to lead in a complex, multicultural society is dependent on this kind of environment. The opportunity for students to develop lifelong friendships that bridge cultural differences is no less significant than the academic rigor and demand for disciplined study that Mercersburg’s diverse curriculum provides.


SARAH MILBACK ’13 | Greencastle, PA Mercersburg Scholar

“My dad was honorably discharged from the Navy and we have limited income. My two younger siblings are homeschooled by my mom. I could not have come to Mercersburg without a full scholarship. I am working very hard, which I really never did before I came here. I want to get the most out of this opportunity— the gift of a great education.”


JOHNNY MANCINI ’14 | Hanover, PA Class of 1996 Scholarship Mary J. Hanks and George R. Hanks ’11 Scholarship Margaret L. Imler Memorial Scholarship Fund

“My grandfather graduated from Mercersburg in the late 1940s and my mom graduated in the late 1970s. She brought me here for Adventure Camp when I was 7 years old, and I loved it. So when the time came, I applied only to Mercersburg. Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to come if it had not been for these scholarships. I am loving Mercersburg. My mom loved it, too. She says it was a highlight of her life. She always gets tears in her eyes looking at the campus when she drops me off here.”

JUSTIN REYES ’12 | Brooklyn, NY Soars Family Scholarship Fund

“I am a first-generation American. My parents are Puerto Rican. My father is a pressman at a newspaper factory and my mom works at an elementary school. I found out about Mercersburg when some people from the Boys’ Club came to our school to speak about their scholarship programs and then they set us up for interviews with different schools. It was a blessing. In the spring of my eighth-grade year, I came on a tour to Mercersburg. I knew immediately this was my campus. I am now developing a big interest in international business. I’m taking Chinese. Sometimes staying focused is a struggle for me, but I know my benefactors didn’t have to do this for me, so I have to keep my grades up. This is not an opportunity to throw away.”

CLARE WILKINSON ’13 | Mercersburg, PA Tim O. Rockwell Scholarship Fund

“My parents are divorced and my dad lives close to D.C. My mom lives here in Mercersburg and works as an administrative assistant at a financial organization. She is a ski instructor on weekends. I needed something different than public school. I am really interested in biology, and coming here was a drastic shift. Our academic trip to Costa Rica really planted the idea of marine biology in me. It required an extra class every Sunday afternoon to prepare for the trip, and then we got to apply what we learned on the trip. It was an amazing field-study experience. All this would not be an option for me without scholarship assistance.”


“I don’t think I was perceptive enough at that age to even comprehend what I had been given by the opportunity to go to Mercersburg. I think it’s one of those things that sneaks up on you over time and through life. If we’re going

JOHN K. PRENTISS, D.V.M. ’65 Board of Regents

to continue to have balance in the classroom at all different levels, we need to continue to grow our endowment so we can give the support to everybody who wants to attend. “My visceral response to Mercersburg was so much greater than at any other institution I attended that I want to give back what it has given me.”

THE POWER OF SCHOLARSHIP DOLLARS Mercersburg competes with other top independent schools in the United States and internationally, and to do so most effectively, we must have endowment resources sufficient to offer a broad menu of scholarships based on need and merit. Building a diverse and talented class of students year after year requires diligence, a wide reach in our 8

admission activities, and the edge that only scholarships can provide. Among many families considering boarding school today, affordability is their biggest concern—especially middle-income families, single-parent families, and families with multiple children for whom private school is the preferred option. We want to be able to offer access to Mercersburg, regardless of the family’s financial capacity.

LOGAN TRASK ’13 | Berryville, VA McDowell Family Scholarship Fund Davenport Family Scholarship Fund

“As a freshman in public high school, I wasn’t being challenged, and I was one of only a few people in my class who had not yet succumbed to apathy. I got a postcard in the mail about Mercersburg, and when I came for the visit, I floated through the whole tour. I was so in love! I never thought I’d go to boarding school. It wasn’t on my radar, but I got a partial merit scholarship, and here I am! Math and music are my two passions. I want to write songs, learn more theory, and take more math. I can do it all here at Mercersburg.”


OLIVIA ROSSER ’12 | Abingdon, MD Wilbur F. Brown 1911 Scholarship

“My parents were not so excited about my interest in private school. I have a little brother, and our family resources are limited. Both my parents were in the military, but only one is working now. Getting a scholarship was a big factor in my being able to come to Mercersburg. It is such a positive learning environment without a lot of distractions. I have learned here how to be independent and responsible. I have traveled abroad for the first time in my life. Mercersburg has made all the difference.”

MELODY GOMEZ ’13 | New York, NY Arce Scholar

“I grew up in Spanish Harlem and my parents are both Puerto Rican. I have seven siblings. My mom has always been really encouraging and made it clear that education is important. I was lucky to have had a math teacher early on who was really passionate about making sure I had a different experience in school. I was


tested and got into a charter middle school, which did a great job of challenging me. Early on I was focused on grades and studying, but I had never thought about boarding school until I came to Mercersburg on a Model United Nations trip in 2007. And now I am here. The best part about having my benefactor around is that I can thank him for his scholarship and support. Because he is on the younger side, I can really talk to him. He always expresses his concern about what I am doing and looks out for me. Now college is always in the back of my mind. I am looking toward the sciences—medicine or psychology—always pushing forward.”

TRUSTIN RILEY ’14 | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Donald Campbell Willard (1904) Scholarship Fund John W. Bowman ’64 Scholarship Fund

“I was born and raised in Harrisburg, but my dad is from Mercersburg, so I always knew about the Academy. I didn’t want to go to my public high school, so my scholarships were the deciding factor in my being able to attend Mercersburg. I wrote a letter to my benefactor and told him how thankful I am for giving me the opportunity to come here. I play on both the varsity basketball and baseball teams. I’m also active in the African-American Student Union and hope to be a prefect one day. When it comes to college, I think I want to major in the sciences. I definitely want to play baseball at the college level, and I know it will be a lot of hard work. But at Mercersburg I’m used to that.”

MEGAN LAFFERTY ’15 | Stewartstown, PA Erdman-Keeler Scholarship Fund

“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor or go into medicine. My dad passed away a few years ago. My mom is an accountant for an insurance firm, so my sister and I both go to boarding school. I want to go to the Naval Academy and I know Mercersburg has had Naval Academy graduates, so that was one aspect that drew me here. But the main thing about this place is that it is so much like a family—such a close community. I had never been out of the country until I went to Costa Rica for the summer with the field-study program. They asked us in the application to write about how we would live without technology, how we would manage walking long distances, and what we thought we could bring to the trip. It was so amazing. What a gift.”


MORGAN MATSUDA ’15 | Madison, NJ Regents Scholarship

“When I first came to Mercersburg, they shook my hand and gave me a hug. It was definitely kinder than other boarding schools I visited. I didn’t even believe it when I got a full scholarship. It took a while to sink in, and then I got here and it was even better than I realized. I am a swimmer and I really like academics—English and history. I am thankful for this place and I am working hard to keep up my grades.”

PHOEBE MOORE ’13 | Skaneateles, NY Richard M. McKee ’45 Memorial Scholarship Fund Stephen J. Szekely Memorial Scholarship Fund

“My brother went to boarding school in New Hampshire, and when I visited him I fell in love with the idea. I couldn’t possibly have come to Mercersburg without a scholarship. Another school I applied to offered more, but Mercersburg was my first 12

choice. The people and relationships are amazing, but nothing could have prepared me for the field-study trip to Costa Rica—the sea turtles nesting at night. We got to go out and count their eggs. I swear I am going back there again! My parents always hoped I would get to travel, but we could not afford it, and now, thanks to Mercersburg, I went to India over spring break to work in an orphanage. I have had so many cultural experiences. My plan from here is to go into the Coast Guard and study marine biology or law, but I’m having a hard time thinking about leaving Mercersburg. I am so grateful.”

RICK STETTLER ’12 | Grasonville, MD Palmer Family Scholarship Fund

“It just wasn’t as motivating going home at night after private day school. It was easy to slack off, so I started looking into boarding schools at the beginning of 10th grade. My parents said they could not afford the difference in tuition that boarding school would require, so I’d have to try for a scholarship. I was lucky and I am so thankful. Here, people are working hard, and I am so much more motivated every day at Mercersburg.”

“The ideal student body is the best-qualified student body you can find, irrespective of their ability to pay. We ought to strive to get the


best student body we can. We ought to have the resources available

Board of Regents

so that we don’t have to turn away any qualified student who wants to come to Mercersburg but can’t afford it.”

THE LEGACY OF ENDOWMENT The exceptional education that Mercersburg

return on our endowment investments. Indeed,

provides is costly. Top faculty, seasoned staff, our

endowment is the most critical element in

remarkable campus, leading classroom technology,

determining the long-term financial strength of

and extraordinary off-campus opportunities require

any educational institution. For Mercersburg, a gift

us to invest at a high level in annual operations. The

to our endowment is the singular most powerful

incremental tuition increases we have managed over

means to create a sustainable legacy, and a gift to

the last decade are not infinitely sustainable. Put

endow scholarships will have the most powerful

simply, the gap between the cost of a Mercersburg

ongoing impact for students through the generations.

education and tuition revenues must be augmented

Scholarship endowment gives and gives again in

by philanthropic support: annual giving and the

transformative ways.

WAYS OF GIVING Current Use Scholarship Funds — $12,500 per year for four years

Endowed Scholar — $1 million

With a restricted scholarship gift over four years to the

pledged amount, a scholarship will be created to bear

True Blue annual fund, a donor may create a named

the donor’s preferred name in perpetuity, and the

scholarship. A student will be selected to receive this

donor will be invited to review the final candidates for

support at Mercersburg for the time period of the gift.

these highly competitive scholarships. However, as

Endowed Scholarship Fund — $100,000

required by IRS regulation, the donor may not select

With an initial gift of $25,000 and a documented

the named scholar. Endowed scholars will be selected

gift agreement for the full amount of the scholarship

by a committee on the basis of a student’s ability,

fund, a donor may create a named scholarship

need, and on the basis of the donor’s preferences for

that will bear the preferred name of the donor in

geographic region.

perpetuity. The donor may also designate preferences for the kind of students who receive the scholarship— such as geographic region, athletic participation, or artistic talent.

With an initial gift of $200,000 toward the full


300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 800-588-2550

Endowed Scholarships  

Endowed Scholarships at Mercersburg Academy

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