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Looking Ahead: Grateful for our #Uniquity and our Generosity



By Ted Graf, Head of School

There have been so many “a-ha” moments and peak experiences during our effort to raise the funds to purchase the properties on Rio Grande. What I didn’t foresee, but have enjoyed immensely, have been the boisterous and quieter conversations with hundreds of different community members. They have taken place across four nighttime events, two band concerts, one talent show, one happy hour, two Pitsos, the annual athletic banquet and countless conversations at circle drive, the beautiful Berkeley picnic table, several coffee shops (thanks Patika!), with a few lunches thrown in for good measure. I have had the opportunity to hear dozens of families’ feelings for the school (they’re all impassioned!), hear why they came, and hear why families have chosen to stay. For those of us who struggle with describing why we send our children to the school or how the school actually works, there was a word created just for us by current seventh grader, Paloma Doyle: Uniquity.

During the Middle School band concert, Paloma and Ella Knudsen semi-willingly joined me on stage to inspire and remind people about our efforts to purchase the Rio properties. As part of her remarks, Paloma talked about how the buildings on the Rio campus reflect us as a community, and she went on to identify that quality as Uniquity. In talking with her about the word later, she described it as a collective and community uniqueness that can’t be matched anywhere. #Uniquity is us!

As of this writing (Tuesday afternoon at 3pm), more than 310 parents, faculty, staff, grandparents, alumni, alumni parents, trustees, former trustees, and students have made a gift to “Putting Down Roots.” In addition to the $400,000 released by the board of trustees, the community has raised $739,016 since March 8th. Like me, I hope you’re both proud and grateful for the outpouring of generosity, hope, and faith in the school and its future.

In addition to these numbers, here are a few others to ponder:

  • On Instagram alone, there were 30 stories and portraits shared with the broader community. They garnered more than 1650 likes, and, more importantly, they connected people who love our school with other people who love our school.
  • The effort received 48 gifts from faculty and staff, and another 12 from students
  • Four different guides created peer-to-peer fundraising pages, raising $6,144 collectively.
  • Sixteen friends of the school made multiple gifts since March 8th.
  • 176 Putting Down Roots buttons were created and worn
  • Five friends of the school have made multi-year pledges and have supported the school in planning thoughtfully for its future.
  • One table tennis tournament alone resulted in raising $89.
  • Students’ grandparents contributed more than $50,000

With the final days of the school year upon us, I hope to see you at Gates of Life and/or our Advisory and Graduation send-offs for the middle and high schoolers. The end of school is a poignant time for many of us as we navigate transitions and say good-bye (I prefer farewell)—emotions tend to intensify at these moments. Let’s continue to listen to each other generously in these final days, and please know I am grateful for the many ways in which you contributed our Uniquity.

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