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$5 Million Gift Second Largest in School History
$5 Million Gift Second Largest in School History

"We believe deeply in the School, the values it holds dear, the vision for the future and its extraordinary leader, Paul Stellato. We hope that our gift will inspire others to join us."

Gift Culminates Years of Planning for LEED-Certified Athletic Center

In a letter to the School community, Head of School Paul J. Stellato announced the receipt of a $5 million gift, the second-largest single gift in the School's history. Given by donors who wish to remain anonymous, the gift comes in two parts: $3 million, which the School has already received and has been put to immediate use; and $2 million, offered as a 1:1 challenge for new gifts and pledges received between now and June 30, 2019.

"This gift is a heartfelt endorsement of Princeton Day School, a unique and diverse community of highly dedicated teachers, staff and exceptional students. It is a truly special and supportive environment that fosters creative learning and powerful growth of mind, body and character. We believe deeply in the School, the values it holds dear, the vision for the future and its extraordinary leader, Paul Stellato. We hope that our gift will inspire others to join us, so that together we can have an enduring impact on the lives of current and successive generations of students and their families," said the donors in a statement to the School.

Mr. Stellato noted that until now, fundraising initiatives have focused largely on two areas: (1) support for academic programs, facilities and professional development, and (2) endowment for need-based financial aid. This fundraising has produced clear successes, including a state-of-the-art Upper School STEAM and Computer Center, 20 new Upper School classrooms, the redesigned Shepherd Commons, a 650-square-foot teaching greenhouse, programmatic offerings in all divisions, and almost $5 million in new endowment for need-based financial aid.

With this transformational gift, attention now turns to a long-anticipated and critically needed facility: a 30,000 square foot, LEED-certified Athletic Center, which will adjoin the Lisa McGraw '44 Skating Rink and contain a field house with two indoor courts for multi-sport use and four international squash courts with a spectator viewing area. The field house, squash courts and community gathering spaces will be joined within the Athletic Center, providing a new and expanded space on campus for students to meet, compete, study, and socialize.

The Board and Mr. Stellato, who for the last several years have been working on this ambitious endeavor, have placed clear guidelines on the threshold of gifts and pledges that must be reached in order to move forward.

"We are confident at the prospect of breaking ground in May 2019, knowing the many ways this essential campus facility will allow our entire community to thrive," Mr. Stellato stated.

While this gift brings the School significantly closer to funding all construction and future operating costs of the new Athletic Center, it also provides the opportunity to begin to raise funds for a series of critical initiatives, including Middle and Lower School STEAM, and a Performing Arts Center with a black box theater and suites dedicated to instruction and performance of vocal and instrumental music.

"In a very short period of time, the gift has attracted significant new support to the campaign. The donors showed great wisdom in offering such a challenge, and our community has shown great generosity in responding to it," Mr. Stellato concluded.

To learn more or to be involved in the project, please contact Director of Advancement Kathy Schulte at kschulte@pds.org.