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.

Stories of Gratitude

Community Celebrates First All-School Convocation

This morning and for the first time in ESD’s history, all three divisions joined on Stoffel Commons for a school-wide Opening Convocation chapel service. This order of this service was the result of the hard work and conversations of one of the Student Advisory Councils, whose hope is that this will be a new school tradition for ESD.‚Äč

Since the school’s conception in 1974, our founder Father Stephen Swann had a vision that one day all ages of ESD students would be united on one campus. Today’s service was a celebration, as we see Father Swann’s dream finally come to fruition. Director of Outdoor Education Eddie Eason, now in his 38th year at The Episcopal School of Dallas, addressed the school with words of gratitude and thanks.

“I thought I had experienced everything, but seeing the Lower School students and teachers, and that magnificent building on this campus made me realize what we had been missing here on Merrell the last 41 years,” said Mr. Eason. “Lower School, your daily presence here makes us whole.”

For the momentous occasion, each division, as well as faculty and staff, donned t-shirts in bold colors. The colors of these shirts represent the interior colors of the new Lower School building, which made the morning even more special and colorful.

We can’t wait to see what the rest of this year, and the years to come, have in store for our school. As Mr. Eason said during the ceremony this morning, “Let’s celebrate our storied past, an even brighter future, and one heartbeat.” Go Eagles!

2020 ENR Best Project Award Goes to ESD Lower School

Earlier this month, ESD’s Lower School building was named the Best Project in K-12 Education by Engineering News-Record (ENR). The building was nominated by contractors Hill & Wilkinson for their work with Overland Partners.

ENR received 131 entries into this year's contest — the most of any of ENR's 10 regional contests, according to their blog. The Lower School was selected as one of the 18 Best Projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Special thank you to both Hill & Wilkinson and Overland Partners for their fantastic work in building our innovative and beautiful space!

Learn more from ENR here. 

Langston Family Establishes Named Endowment

Maggie and Greg Langston P' 18, '19, '22, '25 speak to supporting ESD's endowment:

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

How could we not show our gratitude to a school which catered to the personalities and needs of each of our four children? Lauchlin, Story, Carson, and Vaughn each have had a unique and rewarding ESD journey. We want to make ESD strong - in anticipation of all future Langstons!

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

Building the endowment guarantees the future of ESD. Our hope is that a diploma from ESD increases in value. By investing in the future of the school, we protect the reputation and prestige of our own children's education and that of future students.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment fund -

Our endowment fund will be unrestricted. We want the funds generated to best serve ESD's needs each year.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

Looking to the future, when our children tell a prospective employer they attended ESD, we want the school to be as distinguished as or stronger than today. Costs will continue to rise. A vibrant endowment will ensure the school's ability to continue on an upward climb.

Board Member, Alumni Parents Supports ESD Endowment

Caren and Pete Kline – alumni parents (Catherine ’11, Christina ‘14) and Caren a current Board Member – establish an endowment fund with their gift to the campaign, Together, We Will.

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

ESD has had a lifetime impact on both of our daughters and we feel strongly that the school should be supported in order to impact future generations.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

A strong endowment is instrumental for a private school to be among the best in our community. We wanted our gift to help ESD build its endowment funds to provide resources for needs that are not covered by tuition.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment fund:

We chose to make our endowment unrestricted so ESD could respond to whatever the highest priorities are at any time in the future.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

Your children's education lasts a lifetime. There is no better way to thank ESD for giving them such a wonderful head start on life than to provide an endowment gift that will perpetually do the same for future generations.

Current ESD Parents Support Endowment: Willingham Family

April and John Willingham P’25 speak to the importance of endowment:

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

Our family loves ESD. We are proud to be a part of this school community and want to see it continue to grow and prosper.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

A strong endowment fund plays a vital role in the future of ESD and we wanted to do our part to sustain the School now and going forward. 

Please describe the purpose of your endowment fund -

Our endowment generates unrestricted support allowing ESD to allocate the resources where they need it most.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

A stronger endowment will ensure that ESD has the latest resources and capabilities to continue to provide a top tier education for its students.

Grandparent Supports ESD Endowment

Clementine “Clem” Lear GP’24, ’26, ‘28, ‘31 is proud to support the ESD Endowment.

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

I am so proud of my son and daughter-in-law who are serving on the Campaign Committee and wanted to support their efforts. Most importantly, I wanted to honor my four grandsons who are blessed to be ESD students.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

It was important to me to give to the endowment fund which will have a long-lasting impact on students’ lives.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment gift.

The funds generated from my gift are unrestricted to allow ESD the flexibility to invest in top priority needs such as tuition assistance and innovative opportunities.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

An endowment is a way to provide a long-lasting impact for a specific cause rather than “bricks and mortar” which is certainly important but not financially feasible for everyone.

Multigenerational Gift from Alumnus and Family Endows Student Investment Fund

Wendy and Edward Oglesby '90, Peggy and Richard Allison, Holly and John Oglesby

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

After the death of Bud Oglesby (Peggy’s husband and father of John and Edward), we established a fund at the University of Texas Architecture School to provide an annual travel grant for a deserving architecture student. We all shared a profound sense of regret that we hadn't done it while Bud was still alive and could have enjoyed seeing the impact of the modern version of the travel award to Scandinavia he had won that had been such a formative event in his life and career. Thus we decided to make this gift now. Peggy, who has loved math all her life, is fascinated by the stock market and has managed the family's investments for some 50 years. The Oglesby/Allison Student Managed Investment Fund is an avenue for students to participate firsthand in that world. With Edward an alumnus and current parent and Peggy an early board member, ESD was the proper place.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

We wanted the student fund to be an opportunity for students now and on into the future. Giving to the endowment was the only way to ensure that this donation would continue providing benefits perpetually.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment fund:

The most important purpose is for students to learn about, and become comfortable with, making decisions about investments. The payout from the Oglesby/Allison Student Managed Investment Fund will be split between the general operating needs of the school and the enrichment of the math department.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

Speaking from our own experience, don’t wait - do it now so that you can witness the effects over time of your donation.

The Mathes Family Continues Longtime Support to ESD Endowment

The Curtis Mathes Teacher Endowment was established in 1985 by Mrs. Melinda Mathes in loving memory of her husband.

Whitney and John Mathes '93 P'23,'25,'27,'30 are all in for The Campaign for ESD:

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

We were honored to get involved in the Campaign, at a critical point in the life of ESD, to finally unite the Lower, Middle and Upper School communities on one campus. Bringing all of the students and faculty together will be instrumental in strengthening the deep and enduring sense of community at ESD.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

Giving to the endowment is a great way for families to support the school and help lessen dependence on tuition dollars to fund operating costs. Growing the endowment is the best way to ensure the long term success of the school for future generations.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment fund.

The Curtis Mathes Teacher Endowment is intended to bolster the school's ability to attract and retain the best teachers and empower them to educate and inspire a love of learning among ESD’s students.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

Establishing an endowment fund allows a family to specifically select the area of the school that they are the most passionate about and offer direct support to that purpose. If you give now, you get the added benefit of seeing your gift’s legacy take seed and grow as your kids are a part of the school community.

Current Parents Support ESD Endowment

Current parent, former board member and alum Brian Rawson '96 P’26, ’29, speaks to endowment:

What inspired your family to make a gift to The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas?

ESD being the school that I graduated from, and that our kids currently attend, it was important to our family to give back to the school that has done so much for us.

What appealed to you about giving to the endowment?

The endowment is a permanent legacy that assists the school financially and provides the resources necessary to make The Episcopal School of Dallas the best school in Texas.

Please describe the purpose of your endowment gift.

Our gift is unrestricted providing flexibility with the funds generated to serve the School’s top priorities and help secure the future for our students, faculty, and programs.

What advice would you offer to inspire others to consider establishing an endowment fund?

Giving to the endowment empowers our school to deliver the best education possible to our children and fulfill ESD’s mandate to ignite lives of purpose.

Clark Prothro Endowment Honors Three Generations at ESD

The Episcopal School of Dallas gratefully announces a $1.3 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Cullum Clark, Mrs. Caren Prothro, and the Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation. The gift endows the Head of Upper School position and is one of the initial gifts naming a key ESD leadership position. By extension, the Clark and Prothro family gift is in direct support of a Head of School Dave Baad initiative – endowment toward key leadership positions.

The Prothro and Clark family's commitment and service to ESD are long-standing and significant. Nita Prothro Clark served as co-chair of Phase I of The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas: Together, We Will (the focus of which was fully funding the new Lower School), and currently serves as honorary chair. She has also served on ESD's Board of Directors and has held multiple roles for the ESD Parents' Association. Cullum Clark  has also served on the Board of Directors and its executive committee, chaired the Endowment Trust, and chaired the committee that produced ESD Tomorrow, our strategic plan.


Caren Prothro, grandmother to Lili '15, Annabel '17, and Charlotte '21, was first, though. "Over 30 years ago, I was invited to serve on the board," she said. "I embraced this opportunity to be a part of a young mission-driven school where children could learn and thrive and where spiritual values were embedded within the student experience. These core values, championed by our founder, Steve Swann, remain at the heart of the ESD credo: every child has great potential to grow both intellectually and spiritually, to become their best selves. As a grandparent, I believe it is important to give back to the school so that ESD can continue its tradition of excellence by serving the next generation of students and families."

Nita Prothro Clark concurs with her mother. "We enthusiastically support ESD's new endowment initiatives because ESD is thinking long term about how to best attract and support faculty and students.  Endowment resources can effectively bridge the gap between good and great by providing both long-term financial stability for ESD and new opportunities for faculty and students to thrive.  Our three daughters started at ESD as Beginners, and each benefitted in different ways from great faculty who inspired, encouraged, and shaped them along the way.  We want to pay it forward by investing in the future pool of talented educators and leaders who are committed to ESD's mission!"

Phase II of the School's comprehensive campaign calls for adding significantly to the endowment with the goal of raising $30.5 million. Additional endowment funds will be used to endow key leadership positions and tuition assistance, each fortifying the School's ability to attract and retain talented individuals – students and educators. Additionally, the School aims to endow programs that define the ESD experience, be they academic, spiritual, or arts related.

The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas was publicly announced on September 22, 2017. It has three priorities: uniting the community on one campus by building a new Lower School, increasing the endowment for greater sustainability, and affirming today's educational experience through The ESD Fund. 

Stephen Swann '93, Walker Royall Team Up to Co-Chair Campaign

The Episcopal School of Dallas is delighted and honored to announce that Stephen Swann '93, P'24, '27, '29 and Walker Royall P'26, '28, '29 have agreed to chair Phase II of The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas – Together, We Will.

Phase I of the $75-million campaign focused on fully funding the new Lower School. With its successful completion, ESD now pivots to Phase II and will add significantly to its endowment so that the mission and greatest assets are sustained in perpetuity.

The endowment goal is $30.5 million. To date, almost $14 million has been raised, leaving an additional $17 million needed to meet the goal. Additional endowment funds will support leadership positions, tuition assistance, and programs that define the ESD experience.


In alignment with the Hobson Family Head of School Dave Baad's initiative of investing in people, special emphasis will be on endowing key academic and administrative leadership positions.

"ESD has an amazing story," said Stephen Swann '93. "To have witnessed its growth from the time I was a boy and knowing my father's vision for what he hoped this school would become, I'm proud and humbled to accept this challenge. Admittedly, I'm partial, but I cannot think of a better way to honor my father than by devoting time to securing ESD's future for many years to come."

Walker Royall and his wife, Jennifer, are a bit biased as well. With three boys enrolled and having led the way in support of the Lower School, Walker enthusiastically signed on for Phase II. "Endowment is key to a great school, not only to provide resources for people and programs, but also as a way to preserve the institution's mission. ESD's mission, so influenced by its Episcopal identity, is the very thing that sets the school apart from its competitors. Like Stephen, I too believe we have been asked to be a part of something significant – assisting in preserving ESD's future. I'm happy to serve."

We are grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity of our community. Please watch for additional information soon.

Smith Family Gives in Gratitude and Support of All Three of ESD's Campaign Priorities

The Episcopal School of Dallas announces and celebrates a lead gift from Cameron and Clay Smith in support of its campaign Together, We Will.

Comprehensive campaigns commonly include three pieces: a capital component that raises dollars for a building or buildings, an endowment component that provides resources to preserve the institution's future, and annual giving that offers operational funds for current use. And while many understand the call to support each component, competing interests often dictate that a donor supports one or two of the components. Occasionally, however, there are cases when a donor decides to and is able to support all three.

Cameron and Clay Smith P '18, '20, '22, '26 are one such family.

The Smith's generous and multi-year gift provides and names the Smith Family Science Center in the new Lower School, establishes The Smith Family Endowment Fund for Innovation in Lower School Science, and continues their commitment leadership giving in support of The ESD Fund.


"We were inspired to make a gift in gratitude for the immeasurable impact that ESD has had on all four of our daughters' lives," said Cameron Smith. "It is a blessing for our daughters to be surrounded at school by friends and faculty within a faith-based community. We appreciate that ESD provides opportunities for students to embody honor, respect, and integrity from three-year-old beginners to graduating seniors."
Clay Smith continued, "We believe in the importance of one unified campus which benefits every student and faculty member, and we know that investing in the endowment is a way to help ensure that ESD will continue to prosper in the future with incredible people and innovative programs."
ESD is grateful to the Smith Family for their leadership in giving, for their trust in enrolling their daughters, and for their service on the Campaign Cabinet for The Campaign for The Episcopal School of Dallas – Together, We Will.
To date, more than $62-million has been raised against the campaign goal of $75-million. With the Lower School fully funded and opening in August 2019, ESD turns its complete focus to meeting and exceeding the campaign's endowment goal. When fully met, the campaign will have added more than $30-million to its endowment. Many thanks to all who are making this campaign successful. It greatly benefits our students of today and tomorrow.

Grogan Family Establishes Endowment Fund

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.


Gift From Class of 2014 Inspires Seay-Lutken Outdoor Endowment Fund

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.


Riddick Family Endowment Supports Computer Science Department

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.


Hamlin Family Endowment Supports Non-Tuition Expenses and 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.   


Four Fourth Graders Excitedly Tour New Facility

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.

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Expressing Gratitude: A Vision Becoming a Reality

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. 

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ESD's Engineering Class Gain Real World Insight on Construction Site

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. 

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Signed Beam Permanently Installed in New Lower School

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.

Third Graders Solve Real-World Questions About the New Lower School in the What If Lab

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.

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

Many thanks to the lower school community members who came out to sign an actual beam for the new Lower School Building.

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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FF&E Critical Work Underway: Behind the Scenes

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