Our Strong and Varied Student Body

It’s now May…and after such a rough winter, it’s hard to fathom!

Which reminds me of a story (apocryphal?) of one May when Gertrude Stein was taking a philosophy exam in a course given by William James.  As the story goes, all she wrote on her exam was, “It’s too pretty a day out to take this exam.” In that spirit, I’d like to say that it’s too pretty a day out to write my weekly letter.  But in fact it’s raining out today, so here goes!

One of our most important strengths – after our superb faculty and our connection to BU – is our strong and varied student body. I deeply believe that some of the best learning for each student results from a group of exciting peers, and I see that belief come to life in every classroom, every day. In order to enroll the strongest students, it is vital to have a thriving financial aid budget, which we are fortunate to have, due to both the support of BU and the generosity of our families. We have about 38% of our students receiving aid, and the average grant is around $21,000. But in truth, there is never enough aid in our budget to help each deserving family and student as much as we would like.

One way we maintain this strong and varied student body, therefore,  is by raising addition funds annually to supplement our financial aid budget, often with a gala and an auction. This year, we are trying variations on our usual events: We began in the fall with a barbecue to support financial aid, and this spring we are piloting a “Camp Wing Encore” challenge to see which two classes can raise the most money.  The winners will spend June 9 at Camp Wing, where among other activities they will face off in a game of Capture the Flag! Were all families to contribute – and if you had come to the gala or bid in the auction, this is easier to do! – we would reach our goal this spring of raising an additional $12,000.

Other ways to support financial aid and the Academy’s Annual Fund will be a raffle of two Red Sox Pavilion Club seats if you donate a gift to the Annual Fund greater than $100 by May 20. And please also join us at the parents-only reception we are hosting as part of our fundraising challenge, held immediately before the Spring Concert on Tuesday evening, May 13.

Maybe next week, if it’s not raining, I’ll say “it’s too pretty to take this exam!”

Warm regards,
James S. Berkman
Head of School