« Back

The Governor’s Academy Announces Lead Gift for the Construction of a New Environmental Studies Building on the Banks of the Parker River

The Governor’s Academy recently celebrated the launch of the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of a leadership gift from The Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation for the construction of a new environmental studies building on the banks of the Parker River. The gift was announced by Head of School Peter H. Quimby, Ph.D. ’85 and Board of Trustees President Jim Pierce ’72 in front of more than 400 alumni and friends of the Academy.

The Parker River Environmental Studies Center, a new state-of-the-art research and academic building, will be located on the north end of the Academy’s campus overlooking the Parker River and the Great Marsh. Quimby said, “For over a decade our teachers have imagined how such a facility might transform our science curriculum. This gift represents a significant step forward in turning that vision into a reality. Not only will we have state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching spaces, we’ll be able to offer our students a curriculum that takes advantage of our unique location in one of the most important ecosystems in New England.” The Academy’s location on the Parker River and the Great Marsh, the largest salt marsh in New England, offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to engage in original scientific research on the local environment and learn sophisticated field research skills in an exceptionally  pristine and biodiverse ecosystem. Working in partnership with the esteemed Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the building’s design will feature indoor and outdoor classrooms and wet lab space. Additional funds still need to be raised, but thanks to the Alfond family’s leadership, the Academy hopes that construction might begin in the spring of 2020.

The Alfond family has been a philanthropic leader at the Academy for decades. Bill and Joan were early supporters of the recently announced With True Courage campaign, and their decision to support this exciting campaign-related capital project brings the Alfond family’s total campaign giving to $7 million.

The Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation supports a number of charitable institutions in Maine and Massachusetts. At The Governor’s Academy, Bill has served as a trustee for many years, and together he and his wife, Joan, have played a significant role in some of the school’s major capital projects, including as lead donors for a major dining hall renovation, a new turf field and fitness center, and most recently, a track renovation. Bill and Joan also have a long history of generously supporting several other key initiatives at the school including faculty housing, financial aid, and the annual fund.

With True Courage, the Campaign for Governor’s is a comprehensive fundraising campaign that has objectives of significantly enhancing the school’s endowment, growing its annual giving program (The Governor’s Fund), and raising funds for four targeted capital projects such as The Parker River Environmental Studies Center. During the official campaign launch celebration last month, the Academy announced that $36 million has been raised to date, with a goal of reaching $75 million by June 2021.

« Back

The Governor’s Academy Launches $75 Million Campaign ‒ the Largest Campaign in its History

On Saturday, October 21, over 400 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends gathered in an elegantly transformed Carl A. Pescosolido, Jr. Field House to celebrate the launch of With True Courage, the Campaign for Governor’s. This comprehensive fundraising campaign is the most ambitious in the Academy’s 255-year history.

The campaign is inspired by the family motto of the school’s founder, Governor William Dummer: “With true courage, nothing is impossible.” Head of School Peter H. Quimby, Ph.D. ’85, P’14 says of the campaign theme, “We chose it because we believe that it accurately describes what happens on our campus every day. Our world needs leaders with the courage to keep on learning and face new challenges, the courage to stand up for their ideals, even when they go against the status quo, and the courage to shape themselves and their world in ways that are true to who they are and the values they hold dear. We build these skills in our students every day, and that’s why this campaign is so important.”

The evening included a cocktail hour, a program featuring remarks from school leadership, two senior students and a faculty member, followed by dinner and dancing. During the program, the bold campaign goal of $75 million was revealed – $36 million of which has already been raised. The campaign is expected to span 3-4 more years. “Achieving the objectives of our campaign will change the trajectory of our school permanently,” said Board of Trustees President Jim Pierce ‘72, P’08. He added, “At Governor’s you learn how to think, collaborate, communicate, and succeed. I believe the 15-18 year old time frame is when these things really are learned and internalized, and that is why I love being involved with this school.”

The With True Courage campaign has three focus areas: endowment, annual fund, and capital projects.  Growing the endowment will allow the Academy to fund additional student financial aid and support the faculty’s professional development. The annual fund is needed every year to supplement tuition dollars and sustain the school’s programs, curriculum, and campus. Finally, there are four exciting capital projects planned: a new environmental research and classroom building along the banks of the Parker River, a renovated and expanded student center, a renovated foreign language classroom building, and new faculty housing. “At its core, this is a campaign about people. The Academy has been known for generations as a family school, and if we are to preserve this essential quality in the future, we have to invest in our faculty, staff, and students,” said Quimby.

The Academy’s last campaign, Campaign to Carry on the Work, ended in 2002 and raised $50 million. Key initiatives during that campaign included capital projects like a new library and program support.

To view photos from the campaign launch celebration, click here.