Ribbon Cutting

University Liggett School completes largest fundraising campaign in its history 12/04/2020

Despite pandemic challenges, school community donates $51 million in critical support

University Liggett School is pleased to announce the successful completion of our record-breaking $50 million comprehensive philanthropic Sure Foundations campaign. In total, $51 million was raised during the eight years of the campaign.

The campaign was comprehensive, meaning it was achieved through multiple revenue sources and established to meet multiple objectives. Those objectives were to invest in capital projects through the construction of the new athletic fields and facilities; to increase the school’s endowment to support outstanding faculty, robust student experience and support excellence and scholarship; and to raise annual operational support.

“University Liggett School would not be able to facilitate its mission if not for the resounding graciousness and generosity of our community,” said ULS Head of School Bart Bronk. “Every dollar raised for this campaign goes toward fulfilling our mission to effect profound growth and understanding in our students. The impact of this campaign on our school and our students will be remarkable, both in the present and the future.”

The campaign allows University Liggett School to fulfill its objectives to offer students and faculty greater opportunities and access, expand and update campus, and ensure future generations benefit from a strong and stable institution. Major initiatives of the campaign include:

Scholarships: Donors supported numerous existing scholarships and also established scholarships in their name. The Liggett Merit Scholarship, the school’s only merit-based scholarship, has offered more than 80 students full or partial tuition for all four years of upper school.

Endowment: Donors further secured the school’s future with an initiative to build the endowment, a financial tool that ensures future economic stability for ULS. Academic programming and professional development, critical to attracting and retaining faculty, are funded by the endowment. The Clyde and Helen Wu Family Fund issued a $500,000 match challenge, which ultimately raised a combined $1 million for the campaign’s “Faculty of Excellence” initiative.

Improved capacity: Donors supported an expansion of ULS outdoor athletic facilities, enabling the largest simultaneous, contiguous installation of turf fields of any high school in the country. Adjacent to the fields was constructed the John and Marlene Boll Campus Center, a 30,200 state-of-the-art square foot community gathering space. This building was made possible with the $4.25 million lead campaign gift, which was also the single largest donation in the history of ULS, from John and Marlene Boll.

“Gifts come in many shapes, sizes and forms,” says John Boll, who is the grandfather to six ULS graduates. “The only true gifts are those that go on long after they are given. As God has entrusted our family with much, we now leave a legacy to ensure that a superior educational institution will continue to champion the finest qualities of achievement, of excellence in sport, of character and of creativity.”

The Fruehauf Gymnasium, named for Dick ‘48 DUS and Janet ‘50 Fruehauf LIG, who sent all five of their children to Liggett, is one the Boll Campus Center’s main attractions. “We wanted to acknowledge the immense value that this school has played in our lives,” said Dick. “It’s an absolutely wonderful school.”
Moving forward, as a result of the $51 million raised through this campaign, University Liggett School will be able to:

Ensure that students and members of the University Liggett School community have access to the finest athletic fields, facilities and classroom space
Retain top faculty, give students access to the most advanced technology, maintain our enrollment and endow the Liggett Merit Scholars program in perpetuity to ensure that the region’s best and brightest students can have access to a University Liggett School education.

Enhance academic and extracurricular programs, faculty enrichment and other vital school operations
The campaign launched in 2012, at a time when the country was still in a measured recovery from the Great Recession, and completed in October 2020 amidst the global uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, after the country shut down in Spring 2020, it soon became clear that donors were willing and able to help the school support the campaign to fruition. In total, 2,722 people from 46 states and 5 countries donated to the Sure Foundations campaign.

“No matter how tumultuous times are, something we can count on is our community of endlessly supportive and giving friends, family, alumni faculty and staff,” said ULS Chief Executive Officer Kelley Hamilton, who also oversaw the campaign. “When we launched this campaign eight years ago, we could never have predicted under what circumstances it would conclude, but we finished strong with donors continuing to give generously, despite the pandemic.”