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

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.


Class of 2014 Gift 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 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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