Whitney and Jay Grogan – current parents (Will, Class of 2024) and Jay a current Board Member – establish an endowment fund with their gift to the campaign, Together, We Will.
This is our Defining Decade. Together, we will make history.
ESD enjoys the support of families whose leadership in giving inspires others to join them.
Hats off to Nita Prothro Clark P’15, ’17, ’21 and Suzanne Perot McGee P’15, ‘18 for successfully guiding the Campaign past the $60-million mark, including full funding for the new Lower School, an additional $11.5-million toward endowment, all the while protecting the vibrancy of annual giving to The ESD Fund. Each – Nita and Suzanne – now take on the role of Honorary Campaign Chair.
A special thanks to the Campaign Cabinet and Constituency Volunteers, too, for their dedication of raising support for The Episcopal School of Dallas. Leadership is critical, as are capable, driven, and focused team members. We are truly blessed by their enthusiasm.
With facilities complimenting teaching excellence, the Campaign continues with its focus now shifting to adding to the School’s endowment, a way of assuring ESD’s future for many years to come.
The Class of 2014 dedicated their Senior Class gift to the School in honor of Mr. Peter Lutken, distinguished ESD faculty member for 26 years; serving from 1988-2014. The Stephen M. Seay Foundation then added to their gift to establish the Seay/Lutken Outdoor Endowment to support and maintain programs and projects in ESD's outdoor learning areas.
Alumni parents, Carol and Frank Riddick P’10, ’14, created The Riddick Family Endowment in 2018 as part of The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas; Together We Will.
The Riddick’s selected The Episcopal School of Dallas for their sons, Winston ’10 and Anderson ’14, and were active members of the ESD community from 2006 – 2014 while their sons attended ESD and continue to strongly support the School’s mission.
Sarah Hamlin P'15, '18, '23 and current ESD Board Member, shares about her family's commitment to ESD's endowment:
What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?Each of us, Frank and I, have been impacted by our faith-based educational experiences. I attended an Episcopalian school with a long history in Virginia, and Frank attended the St. Michael's School. Now, with three children educated at ESD, we wanted to support the mission and vision of Father Swann.
Walking through the build site at this stage inspires a whole new vision of what is to come. Just before the break, Tracey Shirey, Amy Cuccia, and I had an opportunity to show the new Lower School to four fourth graders. They were wowed. Immediately evident was the strong sense of the connectivity the new Lower School will offer and how every square inch of the physical space will facilitate the learning and teaching process. There are no "hallways" and the open spaces, even nooks under stairs, have been leveraged for an optimal educational experience for our youngest learners.
As we wind down this busy week, and in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday break, we would like to use this month's "Construction Corner" to express gratitude to the great number of people who have been instrumental in moving our new Lower School initiative from an inspired vision to reality.
Because of the tireless work over the last three years, we are in an enviable position: the Lower School is well on its way to the scheduled completion date of June 27, 2019.
Big thanks to Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors for bringing ESD's classwork to life by demonstrating the vital role engineering plays in Lower School construction for Mr. Burnett's students. 29 ESD engineering students also recently completed their OSHA certification.
The structural beam signed by many Lower School students, parents, faculty, and staff was installed on Saturday, October 27. The beam was signed on Friday, October 12. While it will not be visible once the building is complete, a small plaque will remind community members of its placement.
What if students could apply what they're learning in the classroom to something in the real world? Third graders are doing just that! In this study, students are using their math and map reading skills to calculate the space of their future fourth-grade classrooms.
Using blueprints of the new building, students are figuring out the square feet of the new rooms. This involves calculating and converting the scale of the blueprints to the actual dimensions. Students will later use this skill to figure the square feet of their current room. They will also consider the FFE, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, of the new Lower School.
Many thanks to the many Lower School community members who came out to sign an actual beam for the new Lower School.
The evening began in Jones Family Stadium cheering on varsity field hockey and continued to outside the construction site where families, teachers, and Eagles made their mark on a specially painted beam. Families and teachers enjoyed dinner in the Pavilion made possible by the Dads’ Partnership and gained a bird’s-eye view of the construction site from the third floor of the Stephen B. Swann Athletic and Wellness Center. Varsity volleyball and varsity football were also in action, and the enthusiasm of our littlest eagles and their families undoubtedly helped lift the teams to victory.
While very visible activity continues, a great deal of behind the scenes work is taking place. What is termed "FF&E" is a significant portion of this work - Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment. Not only do I see the acronym FF&E in almost every waking hour, I see it while I sleep! It is only a mild exaggeration to say this topic is dominating my every thought these days.
New buildings are fabulous, no doubt about it. The "newness," sparkling interiors, and impressive exterior, provides a point of pride and energy boost for all who are associated with it. An empty new building would not have much of an impact. Undeniably, it's the people - students and teachers - who make a new school building come to life, but the important role furniture, fixtures, and equipment play cannot be underestimated.
This unique tree is designed to “anchor the early childhood neighborhood,” Ruth Burke said. “The tree will not only provide quiet spaces for learning and conversation, but also active possibilities for young children to strengthen their gross motor skills as they play, climb, and explore.”
Dane Larsen has completed an initial sketch of the sculpture and plans to begin installation on May 15, beginning what he knows will be a “huge project.” He also plans to involve his AP Sculpture students after they have submitted their final portfolios. With their help, the sculpture will be finished by the time the Lower School opens and promises to be a key feature in our students’ learning experience.
The question I received most often in the last few weeks came from students, faculty, and parents who ventured to the viewing area on the track level of the competition gym. After the entire foundation was poured two weeks ago, it was easy to see that there was a circular area on the west side that was recessed several inches (see photo below). What is that circle in the foundation? Why is it several inches lower than the rest of the foundation that was poured?
Over the last month, the build site for the Lower School has been transformed from a graded and leveled dirt footprint to a fully formed foundation with structural steel beams in place. To see the amazing transformation, be sure to watch the time lapse video. These developments provide a really good visual of the size and layout of the building.
Click on the link below to read more about the key construction milestones of the last month.
The construction of the new Lower School, taking us closer and closer to all three divisions uniting on one campus, started in early June and remains on schedule to open the summer of 2019. The best way to get caught up on the progress is to take a few minutes to watch the time-lapse video linked here. It truly is impressive to see everything accomplished in the first eight weeks!
The Episcopal School of Dallas is grateful to announce a generous gift from current parents Lori and Jerry Jones Jr. in support of the Lower School. This gift helped confirm the Board of Directors' decision to authorize moving forward with construction. The first visual sign will be the perimeter fencing around the site that will go in place on May 17. Construction is anticipated to begin soon after school dismisses for the summer.
"The design for this space is extraordinary and will set a new standard for early childhood and elementary education across the nation," said Don Carty, Chair of ESD's Board of Directors. "It is exhilarating to realize Father Swann's vision of One Campus, One Community..."
The Episcopal School of Dallas is pleased to announce a Lower School campaign gift from Rachel and Grant Baldwin ‘99. Grant is the current president of the Alumni Association Board, and Rachel is active in the Parents’ Association, now serving as the chairperson for welcoming new families into the ESD community. Their son, Will, is a member of ESD’s kindergarten class.
“ESD's focus on educating the whole child really resonates with our family,” said Rachel. “Given the fast-paced nature of the world today, ESD is unique in its approach, simultaneously providing a great education, nurturing each child's interests and abilities, and prioritizing time to reflect and grow as balanced students and citizens.”
The Episcopal School of Dallas is thankful to announce a gift by Caycie and Briggs Briner, parents of fourth grader Brant and seventh grader Briggs. Kinsley will join her brothers as an Eagle next year in the 2018-19 Kindergarten class. The Briner Family gift supports the building of the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus.
The Briners believe what sets ESD apart from other schools is its unique blend of faith, community, and academics. The integration is critical to their family.
The Episcopal School of Dallas is proud to announce a gift to the new Lower School from Michael Munir '92 and his wife, Debbie. The Munirs are parents of Sarah '26 and Ethan.
"Being an alum and a parent, I have always wanted to see Father Swann's vision for the school realized," said Michael. "Having the entire student body on one campus will truly make our community feel whole."
Both Debbie and Michael actively volunteer at the school. Michael is on the Board of Directors and serves on the Design and Construction Committee. Michael said ESD is a special place that shouldn't be forgotten even after one graduates.
The Episcopal School of Dallas proudly announces a lead gift from current parents Ann and Lee Hobson in support of The Campaign – Together, We Will. The Hobson Family gift provides significant support for each of the Campaign's objectives – uniting our campus, building the School's endowment, and sustaining ESD's excellence through the Annual Fund.
The Hobsons, who pledged their support very early in the campaign, match six others with the largest single gift from a family to The Episcopal School of Dallas. Their contributions to all of the campaign components emphatically signify their support of ESD's impact, now and for generations to come, on individual students and the community as a whole. In addition to their financial support, the Hobsons have served ESD in many voluntary capacities, including Ann Hobson's most recent service to ESD's Board of Directors and Lee's service as a trustee on the ESD Endowment Trust.
The Episcopal School of Dallas is honored to announce a campaign contribution from grandparents Linda and John McFarland, current parents Reggie and John McFarland '91, and David McFarland '94. The McFarland Family gift helps provide the capital necessary to build the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus.
Linda and John McFarland are the lead volunteers for the Grandparent Constituency Team and have served ESD in many roles over the years; Linda served as a member of the ESD Board of Directors, while John served years ago on the St. Michael's School Board of Directors. They believe that ESD's unwavering commitment to its Episcopal Identity and Founding Tenets is what differentiates the School from others.
The Episcopal School of Dallas is honored to announce a $500,000 campaign gift by alumni parents Caroline and David Hundley. Hal Hundley '10 began at ESD in fifth grade; older brother Will Hundley '05 started in high school. The Hundley gift helps fund the building of the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus.
The Hundleys, who serve as Campaign Constituent Chairs for Alumni Parents, were inspired to give because of what the ESD experience has made possible for their boys, then and now. "Our gift to ESD acknowledges the good experiences and excellent academic preparation our children received," Caroline Hundley said. "We were most inspired to give to honor the values and discipline they learned that allows them to succeed in life."
The Episcopal School of Dallas is thankful to announce a gift by ESD Alumni Relations Officer Megan Boyd '09. Her gift of $1,000 supports the building of the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus
"To be a part of the amazing things that ESD is accomplishing is a blessing and this gift was a way for me to give back to the place that has given me so much," Megan Boyd, Class of 2009, said. "I firmly believe in ESD's Mission and our community is unmatched. ESD is such an outstanding environment to grow up in, and it has played a huge role in my life."
As the designs are finalized for the new Lower School, The Episcopal School of Dallas is excited to reveal the Community Staircase made possible by a generous $2,000,000 gift from Maleiah and Ryan Rogers.
"ESD's academic rigor, fused with daily worship in a co-ed environment, is exactly what we wanted for our daughter's education," said the Rogers. "We want ESD to continue to improve and attract the best faculty and students."
The staircase, which lies in the heart of the building, is much more than a simple thoroughfare. It is a unique, multi-use feature originating on the second floor. Here, the entire Lower School, Beginner through fourth grade and their teachers, can gather for a performance or presentation, and students may collaborate or work in groups of various sizes.
The Episcopal School of Dallas is thankful to announce a gift by current and alumni parents Alexandra and Matt Lovitt. The Lovitt Family gift supports the building of the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus. The Lovitts also serve as parent volunteers for the campaign.
While fully prepared for academic and intellectual success, the Lovitts believe students who graduate from ESD gain much more. "ESD blends a faith-based education with a focus on the whole child," said Dr. Lovitt. "Young adults who graduate from ESD are well rounded, polite, well spoken, and well read."