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Results tagged “Boston Globe” from Boarding School Blog - onBoarding Schools

Jurist Levin Campbell retires at the end of the month after serving 40 years on Massachusetts and Federal benches. Certainly a fair minded and famously even handed judge, it's Mr. Campbell's relationship with Asheville School that brings this to our attention.  

Asheville recently joined the Twitter conversation and they 'tweeted'- a real time, 140 characters maximum post-  to their subscribers telling them the news. Tweets appear on the user's profile page and go to those signed up to receive their updates.

These short notes get the big picture out and allow users to follow-up later at their leisure. In Asheville's case, or, for any group, it's a quick, direct way to send the news and keep the community connected and talking.

If you haven't, checkout AdmissionsQuest's Twitter feed. It's a terrific way to keep up with the latest happenings at AQ.

Learn more about Mr. Campbell by reading the Boston Globe's "A Man of Honor."

An odd thing during these times of declining endowment income- several New England colleges are doing OK. In a Boston Globe piece several smaller tuition driven schools report that the relationship with their students and school growth haven't yet changed much. They're used to offering good value and opportunities- funded predominately with tuition dollars. Smaller endowment income never allowed them to grow beyond defined means.

Ronald Champagne, president of Merrimack College told the Boston Globe:

"In these hard economic times, institutions that relied heavily on their endowments, like Harvard, suffered the greatest losses in terms of impact on their operating budget...In a sense, we have a blessing in disguise."
A boarding school head recently expressed similar sentiment during a conversation- explaining that he was used to covering all of his school's expenses with tuition dollars. With fewer dollars, there would of course be cuts and reductions and he's prepared several budget drafts based on varying enrollments. But, he said, the big schools who've become used to supplementing operating costs with endowment income will be pinched the hardest. In some cases, well endowed schools have developed high fixed overhead that isn't easily adjusted downward during tight times.

Experience living with one's means has it's advantages.

The number of boards and school heads addressing the tight economic climate and communicating with their constituencies honestly and directly on these matters- while not a solution- provides some measure of comfort. Tackling the issues honestly and directly beats all the options.

Donald Frey (Wake Forest University, Economics Professor)  and Lynn Munson (formerly, National Endowment for the Humanities) wrote an op-ed piece in today's Boston Globe challenging the conventional wisdom of eternal saving and endowment growth. They make the case that colleges and universities would make better more effective use of endowment monies by committing to spending more- putting the money to use.

They assert that the rainy day has arrived:

"Since colleges and universities pay no taxes on their endowments or on the income they earn, the public has a keen interest in knowing whether schools are adopting payout policies that make sense. The rainy day so many colleges and universities have saved for is here. The question is whether these institutions will have the wisdom to step up spending in response."
This argument means little to most boarding schools with modest endowments. However, for the extraordinarily well-endowed boarding schools, it's perhaps fair to ask, "how can the endowment be put the best use during tight times" and "might we consider spending endowment monies differently in future prosperity?"

I've included this link to an earlier New York Times article for background reading of large boarding school endowments.
With planning a $43 million campus expansion, ground breaking on the project and his successor in place, Fay School's headmaster Stephen White has decided to call it a career. He leaves Fay at the end of this month with Robert Gustavson from the Fenn School taking the Fay reigns.

Fay acquired the former Kidder estate which had bisected its campus and is embarking on its largest campus wide update and expansion in 25-30 years. Along with the physical improvements comes greater student capacity and the addition of the school's first pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

Congratulations to Mr. White and the school on this outstanding accomplishment and, of course, a warm welcome to Mr. Gustavson.

Read a full article by the Boston Globe about the preservation, modernization, and Fay's new head of school.
The Boston Globe recently highlighted the work of Concord Academy students who spent a week working in the New Orleans renewal effort. This most recent trip included a larger group- 78- after the positive experiences of students on last year's trip to Kiln, MS.

Writing from north Mississippi and as an experienced New England boarding school student and faculty member, it's great to see this kind of outreach. I know how difficult it can be to get outside of a boarding school routine in order to gain experience and perspective. It's heartening to see and hear students move beyond their comfort zones. Community service is much easier when you set aside time as part of your school schedule.

Beyond their contributions to the coast, the students gain personally:

William Taylor, a junior from Brookline, is among the students who have signed up for a second turn because, he says, the first trip was so rewarding.

"It felt really good to help people," Taylor said. "When I'm in school, it's sometimes difficult to devote a lot of time to service. But I feel it's important, given some of the privilege I come from."

Citizenship requires effort and sacrifice; it's heartening to read about this groups willingness to go out and get their hands dirty. Making the commitment to use one's free time and energy demonstrates a high level of maturity. It's also important to see and learn about America- the differences and the ties that bind us.

Update: The folks at Concord were kind enough to turn us onto an article about the trip that they posted on their site. After giving it a read I discovered that they kept a blog to document their work. Both are well worth checking out.

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