Last spring, Board of Trustees President Jim Pierce ’72, P’08 announced a significant campaign commitment from a board member and current parent who wishes to remain anonymous. A portion of the gift is a multi-year commitment to fully fund the Academy’s Access Fund for five years by providing $70,000 annually for the fund, a gift that will total $350,000.
The Access Fund was created after a 2013 committee composed of faculty and staff was formed to assess the impact of the non-tuition expenses upon students’ ability to fully participate in the life of the school. Directly addressing this topic was—and still remains—consistent with the Academy’s dedication to being an equitable and inclusive community of people from diverse socioeconomic, racial, and geographic backgrounds. The resulting fund, the Access Fund, began providing financial support for activities and programs like music lessons, laptop computers, athletic apparel, SAT/PSAT testing fees, formal dress attire, and travel costs associated with school-sponsored exchange opportunities. Although the fund met the initial demands of those in need, the continued growth in the Academy’s educational and co-curricular programs coupled with a limited budget structure meant that need quickly outpaced the fund’s resources. With the anonymous gift now in place, the Access Fund can provide a more comprehensive and consistent level of support to students with demonstrated financial need.
There is also a simultaneous effort to support the Access Fund being led by the class of 1973 in honor of their 45th reunion and their late classmate, Ed Young ’73. The class will establish a permanent, endowed fund that will continue to provide support to the Access Fund beyond the five-year commitment of the anonymous gift.
By establishing a permanent source of funding for the Access Fund, the class of 1973 will honor the spirit of inclusivity and kindness that Ed represented to so many as a classmate, colleague, and teacher at the Academy. Bob Phillips ’73 remarked, “When I came to Byfield feeling very much like an outsider, Ed’s generous spirit and outreach made me feel welcome and a part of the school. In this spirit of generosity and inclusive friendship, I have committed with other classmates to support the Access Fund.” The Governor’s Academy community continues to be greatly enriched by the diversity of our student body. In the classrooms and the dormitories, in the arts and on the athletic fields, our students bring a range of backgrounds, interests, ideas, and talents. By supporting the Access Fund our alumni, parents, and friends are generously ensuring that all students can experience the academic, social, cultural, and co-curricular programs provided at The Governor’s Academy.