Gratitude

ESD is extremely fortunate to have the support of families whose leadership and generosity will encourage others.  We are incredibly grateful for the tireless efforts of our campaign co-chairs, Nita Clark and Suzanne McGee, and all of our volunteers. The forward-thinking philanthropy demonstrated by our volunteer leadership and our early donors is inspirational. Click here for Campaign Leadership and Constituent Teams.

On behalf of the entire community, thank you for your incredible efforts to ensure our gifted faculty and staff have the resources required to prepare our students for lives of intellectual discovery, integrity, and purpose. 

This is our Defining Decade. Together, we will make history.

Stories of Gratitude

Even a Lot of Rain Couldn't Dampen Spirits Friday Night

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.

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Behind the Scenes: Critical FF&E Work Underway

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.

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New Lower School Tree Sculpture Designed In-House

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.

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Question of the Month: Why is there a circle in the foundation that's not level with the rest?

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?  

Find out why here

Construction Corner: September Update

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.

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Construction Corner: Summer Edition

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!

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ESD Board Authorizes Lower School Construction to Move Forward

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..."

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Baldwins Make Gift with Gratitude for ESD's Impact on Learning

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.”

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Briner Family Makes Gift to Unite ESD's Divisions on One Campus

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.

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Munir Family Honors Alumni Roots with Lower School Gift

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.

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ESD Honors Hobson Support with Honorary Naming of Head of School Position

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.

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ESD's Commitment to Founding Tenets Motivates Grandparents to Support Campaign

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.

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Alumni Parents Honor the Impact of ESD Education, Then and Now

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."

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Young Alum Makes Gift to Ensure the ESD Experience Continues and Grows

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."

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The Rogers Family Gift Will Serve the Heart of the Lower School

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.

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Lovitt Family Gift Honors Impact of the ESD Education

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."

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Lear Gift Fuels ESD's Ability to Ignite Lives of Purpose

The Episcopal School of Dallas is honored to announce a campaign contribution from Laura and Rick Lear, who also serve as the lead volunteers for the Lower School Parent Constituency Team. The Lear Family gift helps provide the capital necessary to build the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus.

“The experiences of our children inspired us to contribute our time and resources to this campaign,” said Rick Lear. “They are happy, confident, and well adjusted. They love learning and are surrounded and supported by the ESD community.”

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Gray Family Makes Lower School Gift to Demonstrate Support of Children, ESD Teachers, and the Future

The Episcopal School of Dallas is glad to announce a multi-year campaign gift by Lower School parents Christina and Greg Gray. The Gray Family gift helps fund the building of the new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus.

"When we returned to Dallas from overseas, we were drawn to the ESD community and the School's excellent reputation," Greg Gray said. "We feel ESD is unique in being focused, yet balanced. ESD maintains its focus on rigorous academic standards and excellence while balancing a strong sense of community, faith-based education, the arts, and competitive athletics."

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Searcy Endowment "Pays It Forward" for Talented Students

The Episcopal School of Dallas is grateful to announce a generous gift from Ginny and Conner Searcy that will further fund the Searcy Family Endowed Scholarship. This fund provides tuition assistance for qualified students who would not otherwise be able to afford an ESD education.
 
"Both of our mothers were teachers who taught us the life changing impact of education as well as the importance of paying forward what others had done for us," Conner Searcy said of himself and his wife, Ginny. "We knew that once we were capable, we would we make this ideal a priority."
 
The Searcy family began the Searcy Scholar program in December 2009 to allow more students access to ESD's faith-based mission, focus on the family, and emphasis on the whole child. 

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Yandell Becomes First Alumnus to Establish Endowment

The Episcopal School of Dallas is proud to announce our first endowment fund established by an alumnus. Mr. Pitts Yandell ’87 and Mrs. Kelly Yandell have established the Yandell Family Endowment to make certain the education that Pitts received and their daughter, Lily Yandell ’21, is receiving continues in perpetuity.
 
“We believe that Lily, and the educators who are guiding her through this valuable period of her life, are utterly worth the investment,” explained Pitts Yandell, of his family’s decision to establish the endowment. “We enjoy knowing that the investment will outlive our family’s time at ESD and will serve the community long into the future, ensuring that the children who attend in the years to come will have access to the same caliber of instruction as Lily and I have enjoyed.”

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Newsom Family Gift Supports Commitment to Study of Religion and Social Justice

The​ ​Episcopal​ ​School​ ​of​ ​Dallas​ ​is​ ​pleased​ ​to​ ​announce​ ​a​ ​new​ ​endowment​ ​fund established​ ​by​ ​Shannon​ ​and​ ​Andrew​ ​Newsom.​ ​The​ ​Newsom​ ​Family​ ​Gift​ ​is​ ​a​ ​designated fund ​designed to provide financial support for a speakers' program in Religious Life, addressing topics in the areas of religious and social thought, faith, and social justice.

"Our​ ​gift​ ​to​ ​ESD's​ ​endowment​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first​ ​major​ ​gift​ ​that​ ​we​ ​have​ ​made​ ​as​ ​a​ ​family," said​ ​Shannon​ ​Newsom.​ ​"We​ ​have​ ​supported​ ​our​ ​church​ ​and​ ​different​ ​nonprofits​ ​over the​ ​years,​ ​both​ ​personally​ ​and professionally through​ ​our​ ​family​ ​business​ ​Wisteria,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​have​ ​never made​ ​a​ ​focused,​ ​multi-year​ ​gift​ ​like​ ​the​ ​one​ ​we​ ​are​ ​making​ ​to​ ​ESD."

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Ford Family Gift Celebrates Their Continued Commitment to Education

In honor of Grandparents and Grandfriends' Day, a beloved school tradition, The Episcopal School of Dallas is grateful to announce a generous multi-generational gift from the Gerald J. Ford Family Foundation. The $2,000,000 gift will support building an innovative new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus. Family donors include ESD grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Gerald J. Ford, current parent Mrs. Amy Ford Prestidge, current parent Mr. Jeremy B. Ford '93, Mr. Jordan Ford, and Mrs. Maegan Ford Nicholson '98.

"ESD has played an important role in our family," said Gerald J. Ford. "With several of the next generation now enrolled, we anticipate the same positive role in the future."

His children affirmed his belief.

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Hoblitzelle Foundation Supports ESD's New Lower School with Generous Grant

The Episcopal School of Dallas is honored to announce a grant of $300,000 from the Hoblitzelle Foundation in support of building a new innovative Lower School on ESD's Merrell Road Campus.

The Hoblitzelle Foundation, established in 1942 by Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle, generously supports many Dallas-area educational, social service, medicine and health care, cultural, and civic organizations. Grants enable these non-profit institutions to "bring into being a project or program of great promise and worth."

This is the Foundation's 11th campaign grant to The Episcopal School of Dallas. The first gift was in support of the Merrell Road land purchase in 1977.

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ESD Alumni Association Board Reaches 100% for Annual Fund Giving Participation

Once an Eagle, always an Eagle! One hundred percent of ESD's Alumni Association Board has officially participated in the ESD Annual Fund. Leading the charge, the Alumni Association was the first volunteer board to reach 100 percent this year.

"It's inspiring to see how involved our alumni stay with the growth of our school," says Alumni Relations Officer, Megan Boyd '09. "They still feel connected to the ESD community, and want to give back to their alma mater so future generations of Eagles can have the same incredible experience they did."

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Swann Family Gift to Endowment Supports ESD's Episcopal Identity

As we welcome hundreds of alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff members, and friends to campus for Homecoming events and celebrate the founding of ESD, its history, and its future, ESD is honored to announce a gift of $250,000 to the Swann Family Endowment. 

Made by The Reverend Canon Stephen B. Swann and Mrs. Carolyn Swann, Mr. Jonathan W. Gibson and ​Mrs. Mona Mennen Gibson, Mrs. Amy Swann Henning '89 and Mr. William L. Henning, Jr., Mr. George J. Mennen, Jr. and ​Mrs. Carole T. Mennen, and Mr. Stephen Swann '93 and Mrs. Lauren Swann, the Swann Family Endowment will help support the salary of ESD's Senior Chaplain.

"Gifts to the endowment are like planted trees that grow, nurture, and protect the future of ESD and its signature programs," said Founding Rector and Headmaster The Reverend Canon Stephen B. Swann.

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