Like every momentous undertaking at Mercersburg Academy, the Daring to Lead Campaign is grounded in the egalitarian tradition of this exceptional community — and its time-honored values. This campaign will commit $300 million to: • Remove all financial barriers so we can enroll any student we know should be here. • Recruit, retain, and champion the best faculty anywhere. • Invest smartly in innovative academic and residential programs that change students’ lives. • Create facilities that deliver programs in the best possible ways, fulfill our master plan, and anticipate how programs might grow and change. • Grow our endowment to ensure greater financial stability, flexibility, access, and affordability.
“This campaign is a game changer. We are always pushing young people to stretch beyond their usual sense of what they can accomplish, to take risks, to build confidence. Now it’s our turn to stretch as a community. Daring to Lead will ensure that Mercersburg is never defined by any lack of resources but instead by how strategically and intelligently we deploy them.” douglas hale, head of school
Our Moment to Shine
Young lives take shape at Mercersburg Academy â€• and they take off. Students learn by doing and, in the process, discover who they are, what they love to do, and where in the world they want to go. Today is a defining moment for Mercersburg. Thanks to the momentum generated by remarkable leadership gifts, this campaign presents an opportunity for all of us to help this school continue to evolve in the most exhilarating ways. Together, we will take bold steps to create a landscape where young people can and will discover their best possible selves. In the democratic spirit of this great institution, we invite your leadership as a participant in their futures â€” and our shared future. PLEASE JOIN US IN DARING TO LEAD.
Making Mercersburg Affordable for All Families
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Build endowed funds for financial aid by $70 million, substantially increasing access for the best students, including those from middle-income families. Mercersburg must be able to pursue and enroll any student we know should be here.
“When I was 8 years old, I watched a movie about this young lady who was homeless and went to Harvard. I remember my dad asking me, ‘What college are you going to?’ I told him, ‘I’m going to Harvard.’ It’s kind of funny now because I am going to Harvard, but I remember thinking, there’s no way that happens in real life. It’s just a movie. Now I want to be another story that proves success can happen to anyone if you work really hard, dedicate your time and your life to it, and are lucky enough to go to Mercersburg.” melody gomez ’13
Ensuring the Best Faculty Anywhere
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Commit $35 million to recruit, retain, and support the best teachers anywhere. We will keep them on the leading edge through year-round professional development opportunities, workshops with visiting experts, and intensive summer learning experiences.
“Our goal is to have the best trained and educated faculty in the secondary independent school world. That goal is about so many things: the kinds of people we are able to bring in, professional development, technical training, and training about teaching and living in a residential environment. We have a fantastic opportunity right before us. And it’s about the relationships between faculty and students. When I was a student here, I felt a connection with teachers I hadn’t ever felt before. That should never change. In fact, it should only get better.” dr. julia stojak maurer ’90, academic dean math and robotics faculty member
With this campaign, Mercersburg sets out to do what we ask of our students: to be always open, share opportunity with others, and stick with our values â€” even as we stretch beyond the limits of what we once perceived as achievable.
Becoming a Model for Innovative Education
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Dedicate $30 million to build and drive our core academic and residential mission, with an emphasis on advancing technology and programs that connect students to the world. To set the pace and break new ground, Mercersburg must move strategically and nimbly ― and faster than ever before.
“We're constantly thinking about how we teach and create new programs to spark learning. The new senior academic capstone experiences — MAPS and SpringBoard — are great, interdisciplinary examples. Students will become experts on a subject and reach for a goal that’s not just a file on their hard drives. They’ll present in a forum much like a TED Talk. These projects will result in something permanent, public, or publishable. They can show their work to external audiences and be proud. I can’t think of a better way to prepare students for college, careers, and life.” emily howley, english and history faculty member, springboard director
Upgrading Facilities to Advance a Mercersburg Education
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Invest $80 million in updating and building extraordinary spaces to serve our students and enhance our campus. We constantly examine our facilities as programs evolve, and this campaign continues this evolution, from the recently completed Simon Student Center and 1893 House, to the transformation of North Cottage into the Alumni & Parent Center, to new faculty housing, and the future field house and aquatic center.
â€œMercersburg has always been wise in its creation of spaces to deliver programs, and we must continue this approach. The field house and aquatic center will reflect this tradition, meet our year-round needs, and become embedded within the life of the school. The field house will allow practice space for every team during inclement weather, as well as competition space for some teams. The aquatic center will embody our heritage of swimming excellence and serve the larger community, welcoming swim clubs from miles around. Both facilities will help us attract talented student-athletes who would not have considered Mercersburg otherwise.â€? rick hendrickson, director of athletics
Every year, Mercersburg renews itself as a unique community. However, once in a generation, we have the opportunity to evolve dramatically by acting on our shared vision. The Daring to Lead Campaign offers just such a challenge.
Engaging the Entire Community in Fulfilling Our Vision
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Add $35 million to the school through the Mercersburg Annual Fund — gifts that strengthen our financial stability and academic excellence. Together, we must renew our quest to become the best Mercersburg we can be year after year.
“The future for this school is bright. We’ll be able to offer more scholarships. We’ll enable every teacher who wants to do so to pursue advanced degrees. We’ll be able to give students unique experiences, like the program that takes them to Peru to help underprivileged children. The Annual Fund helps underwrite all of these things and ensures that what makes us great will be here for all future students.” deborah simon ’74, vice president, board of regents co-chair, daring to lead campaign
Achieving Flexibility for the Future
WHAT DARING TO LEAD WILL DO Enhance Mercersburg’s financial stability with $50 million in discretionary endowment, enabling us to sustain the beauty of this campus, pursue unexpected opportunities, and fund new priorities when they emerge. We must be strategic in our commitment to excellence, innovation, access, and success. Through deferred and planned giving, as well as sustaining support, the Campaign will achieve this critical goal.
“Daring to Lead is about positioning this school for the best tomorrow. In a world where innovation and adaptability are keynotes, the need to have resources at the ready is compelling. We have shown how adept we are at long-term planning. Now we need to match this with the capacity to move quickly in the short term. This flexibility will allow us to continue providing the most outstanding education for our students.” david frantz ’60, president, board of regents
Our Moment to Lead This is an extraordinary moment. We have the right leadership to set our course for decades to come. The stakes have never been higher. They begin with the next student who steps onto our campus for the first time because a donor’s generosity paved the way. Students launch their lifelong journeys here. Now we can make this inspiring starting point available to all students from every economic background and ensure that outstanding faculty continue to guide them inside and outside the classroom. A student’s life journey can take a turn for the better at Mercersburg. Help us continue to change lives and make dreams come true on this beautiful campus. LET’S LEAD. TOGETHER.