At the February 2015 Board of Trustees meeting, Head of School Dr. Peter H. Quimby ’85, P’14 was delighted to announce that Board President Jim Pierce ’72 and wife, Polly P’08, have made a leadership gift of $2.5 million to the Academy. The Pierces’ gift, with multiple designations, focuses on the themes identified in the Academy’s recently completed strategic plan.
A significant portion of Jim and Polly’s commitment is designated to new faculty housing, which was prominently mentioned in the plan. The Academy is defined by the rich quality of the relationships between faculty and students and new housing units will ensure that all faculty members can live on campus. These units will help the Academy meet the faculty’s diverse needs – of families, single people, and empty-nesters. Of their commitment, Jim said, “We strongly believe that the relationship between faculty and students is at the heart of the Governor’s experience. I felt it as a student, and Polly and I witnessed it with our daughter. There was never a question about where our commitment would be directed; enhancing housing for faculty just feels right to us. We are pleased and excited that our gift will support such an essential component of the school.”
In announcing the gift to the Board, Head of School Quimby said, “we are so fortunate to have Jim and Polly playing a leading role in supporting critical initiatives in our school’s strategic plan. Our success in realizing our ambitions will depend on the support of our broader school community, and Jim and Polly have signaled their readiness to lead us forward in our efforts. I simply could not be more grateful to them for their leadership and generosity.”
In addition to supporting faculty housing, the Pierces also made a multi-year commitment to The Governor’s Fund (Governor’s yearly giving program), and included the Academy in their estate plans. Both of these designations are crucial to ensuring the financial strength of the school. Current-use support through The Governor’s Fund safeguards the Academy’s existing programs and no gift is more important to maintaining immediate fiscal strength. Equally significant, Jim and Polly recognized the importance of the long view and made arrangements in their estate to provide unrestricted endowment support. Planned gifts like bequests ensure the Academy’s fiscal strength for future generations. Bill Deptula, Director of Advancement said, “We are so very grateful to Jim and Polly for this wonderful contribution. It is a powerful endorsement of the Academy at a critical time in our history. More importantly, the breadth and scope of the gift – providing leadership to The Governor’s Fund, outright commitment to new faculty housing, and long-term support of the endowment – tangibly demonstrates the impact of thoughtful gift planning. Their commitment is a remarkable example that others are sure to follow.”