Spring 2024 Campaign Update

On May 4, Chief Advancement Officer Christine Cutright Knight P’19 delivered an update on the Boundless Potential campaign to the Reunion audience in the Van Voorhis Lecture Hall.
Knight reminded participants that this campaign is historic and transformational for both the student and faculty experience, as well as for the campus footprint. She expressed a desire that all friends of Chatham Hall, particularly alumnae and parents, would experience a deep pride of association for their affiliation with the School. The power of the alumnae network has fueled the success of the campaign. The initial goal range was set between $30-35 million. We have achieved $35 million with an additional $5 million in future gifts through estate plans for a total of $40 million. And, since global supply chain issues have escalated construction costs along the way, we are striving to raise another $5 million for the new facility. Thank you for your support.

The campaign includes four initiatives: annual support for the Chatham Hall Fund at $1 million per year; growth in the endowment, primarily through estate plans; and two special projects of major capital construction: the renovation of campus faculty homes and construction of a new athletics, health, and wellness center. Knight challenged the audience to give to the Chatham Hall Fund every year. Not only does it benefit the student experience, but participation acts as a proxy for alumnae confidence and the strength of the School. Make Chatham Hall a beneficiary of your estate plans, insurance, or retirement funds. This is how schools grow endowments. Endowments are to schools what personal retirement funds are to individuals—they ensure that a steady stream of resources are available for the future. Give to special projects when you can as you can stretch payments over multiple years. The Boundless Potential campaign is historic and transformational, and you will look back and experience pride in bringing it to fruition.

The campaign started by taking care of existing needs. It has been able to bring to fruition many projects on the School’s wish-list including the reopening of the dorms above Yardley Dining Hall and modernization of community spaces to create a welcoming environment for students and visitors. Most recently, thanks to the generosity of riding families, the barn classroom was refurbished in time for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) trainers’ program to meet in April.

The athletics, health, and wellness center makes a statement about the commitment of the School to the development of the whole person because this is how learning is best accomplished. We are equipping curious thinkers with skills and habits that will enable them to thrive and flourish well into adulthood. The new building has several layers of intention baked into the design and the programs which will be housed therein.

Athletics: At Chatham Hall, every student can engage in sports. Teamwork is an essential skill that will enable students to work effectively with others in college and in the workforce. One of the features of the new facility includes a bouldering wall. At face value, the bouldering wall will serve as a training opportunity for those who want to enjoy the many hiking and climbing opportunities available in this region. For others, it will be something more. We believe that stepping outside of your comfort zone enables one to develop resilience and fortitude, and this wall will provide a safe and supportive environment in which students can push themselves. Substantial space for strength and conditioning as well as a dedicated room for attention and care by an athletic trainer underscore our commitment. A light-filled dance studio will provide a fitting practice space. On the lower level, a flexible multi-purpose room will allow for athletic activities, seminars, or even social gatherings.

Health & Wellness: It is impossible to ignore the growing complexity of what it means to be a teenage girl in today’s world. She is more exposed to social and environmental factors that can lead to long-term health challenges. For better or for worse, she is deeply entrenched in a digital world that may exploit her emotions and insecurities. The new building will create a home for mindful practices such as yoga that can help reset, restore, and prepare a girl for her day. Modernized healthcare facilities are essential, and we will gain exam rooms and dedicated overnight rooms. A conference room and two counseling offices round out the new Health Care Center. Community and connection are essential components of wellbeing. At the building’s center is the Commons, which offers informal gathering spaces and alcoves for students to lounge, meet up with friends, or gather with their teams.

Environment: One of Chatham Hall’s differentiating features is its expansive campus. As a community we value the ability to engage with and enjoy our natural assets. Light and the integration of nature into wellbeing and healing were key considerations in the design of the building. The new Health Care Center will overlook tree canopies where birds and natural life can contribute to healing. Both the yoga studio and the strength and conditioning room include porches and patios to enable indoor-outdoor expansion. An allée of trees will line the approach to the building on one side and on the other, a play lawn and courtyards with benches will allow for leisure activities including permanent posts for our students to hitch their hammocks. The facility itself will take advantage of LEED practices including the use of geothermal heating and cooling and solar energy. At two and a half times the size of the building it replaces, it will utilize less energy in its operation.

Fueled by the generosity of its community of families and alumnae, Chatham Hall is prepared to embrace and prepare the next generation of girls. With your support, their future has boundless potential. If you have not made a gift yet, consider how you might participate in this project now or perhaps you could stretch your contribution over 3-5 years. We are in the home stretch, and your partnership and generosity are invaluable.
To explore more, please visit: www.chathamhall.org/bp.
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •  admissions@chathamhall.org
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9-12 in the Episcopal tradition.

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