Dear Vermont Academy community,
I am astonished by the determination our entire community has shown in the weeks since Covid-19 changed our world. I regularly see students, parents, alumni, and our faculty and staff support our school in big and small ways. Measurements in the last two weeks prove that when times get tough, our community gets fierce!
Consider our recent One Day for VA fundraising event: While the world’s economy is at a standstill with factories and businesses shuttered, while unemployment figures are at record highs, and while financial markets are in steep decline, our alumni, faculty, staff, parents and students dug deep and helped us shatter records. As I write this, the event’s one-day fundraising total stands at just over $178,000 with 369 donors – well over twice the amount raised last year! There are many, many people to thank for their hard work and assistance, especially members of our Advancement team. Dick Whitcomb ’55, and his generous $50,000 match, deserves special mention. Thank you, Dick!
Our enrollment numbers are also at record levels. When Vermont Governor Phil Scott issued the Stay Home/Stay Healthy executive order on March 26, which closed schools and banned in-person business, our Admissions office was preparing for Accepted Students Day on April 6. Accepted students use these “revisit” days to come to campus to meet again with faculty and students – they are critical to building enrollment. Fortunately, our Admissions team swiftly created multiple online avenues for families to build confidence in such a big decision. We now have the largest incoming class that we’ve seen since the mid 1990’s! Our enrollment success is helped by people’s willingness to share our story and recommend this school to young people across the country. Please continue this important work!
I have known that since I first stepped foot on Long Walk that people believe in the future of Vermont Academy -- in our students and faculty. These recent events prove that our community is willing to dig in and bolster the excellent work that we are doing to ensure our students’ success. Thank you all, so much!
We still face some big challenges. Based on our recent fundraising success, we’re now setting our eyes on a larger goal for our annual fund to meet the need for increased scholarships, support the professional development of our staff, and help us keep our campus operating under new constraints related to the pandemic. With the number of initiatives we have in the works we could raise a record-setting $1,000,000 by the end of June! To those who already donated: Thank you so much. If you haven’t already contributed to our annual fund you can make a donation here.
I’m working on bigger news to share about the future of our school. There are so many exciting things in the works! For now, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in Vermont Academy.