The Campaign for Brooks successfully concluded on June 30, 2018. Due to the generous support from our greater community, we have improved the overall student experience, the facilities and campus of Brooks School during the past five years. We will come together as a community in April 2019, to formally celebrate you, our donors, and all that you have enabled us to accomplish through our campaign and the six major pillars of support you funded as a group. More information about the celebration will be forthcoming.
Below are some examples of the ways your philanthropy has aided Brooks School. While the list is impressive, it is by no means exhaustive of all of the ways your gifts impacted the school. Please accept our most sincere thanks on behalf of all of us at Brooks School for your support during The Campaign for Brooks.
Improved Facilities and Spaces
If the theme of the Campaign for Brooks had to be summed up in one word, I would choose impact. The interests and needs of our students vary widely. Our community needs spaces that ensure each student feels accepted, valued and supported - that they belong at Brooks. Throughout the campaign, we have focused on some key facilities that help us in pursuit of that goal.
The Frank D. Ashburn Chapel was renovated and then reopened in 2014 with tremendous care to preserve the character of the building while modernizing the space for our current community's needs and size. The chapel now provides ample room for 444 students, faculty and staff to come together as one community. The space is used to allow individuals to share, for us to learn, grow, celebrate achievements and think about current events. The classroom and common space on the ground floor expand the number of areas to teach, gather and talk and provide an additional 50 seats.
The Center for the Arts gives the visual and performing arts programs a space that is fitting for the program we offer. This space also allows for community gatherings such as school meeting, performances and school speakers. Seeing your philanthropic support for Brooks in action has been exciting. Currently, more than 80 workers are on the Brooks campus daily, pushing forward the construction of the new Center for the Arts. On the exterior, the metal roof is in place, while the wood and metal siding is approximately 80 percent done. The adjacent courtyard is taking shape, as stonewalls are set and the exposed aggregate concrete walkways and stairs were placed during the past couple of weeks. Inside the building on the lower level, crews are polishing concrete floors and installing tack boards and shelves. Indoor and outdoor spaces have been designed with our community in mind and ensure that whether we are in the auditorium or the courtyard, ample room is available for all of our students, faculty members, and staff. We look forward to discovering all the ways these spaces can be used to enhance the experience of our community.
In connection with the construction of the Center for the Arts, we improved Main Street and formed a true courtyard between the Wilder Dining Hall, the Danforth Gymnasium and the Center for the Arts. Main Street's walkability creates a central thoroughfare that all of our community members use throughout the day. This is one way to encourage community members to make a conscious effort to get to know each other by face and by name. These spaces give our entire community well-designed spaces to gather. There will also be space within the courtyard to recognize the school's most generous donors whose philanthropy has enabled Brooks to adapt to a changing educational environment and to address the needs of our community.
Finally, we enhanced the experience of our student-athletes by installing the Anna Trustey '16 Memorial Field, a state of the art 75-by-120 yard turf field, which enables teams to play earlier in the spring, when rain and snow alike can make traditional grass fields inaccessible. Our teams can also play on the field well after the sun has set, thanks to the addition of substantial lights. The improved field also has benefits for fans of our teams. The terraced seating area and the entire perimeter of the field are handicapped accessible and easy to get to from the athletics parking lot. This field has become a hub of activity on the weekends for students, families and visitors. It is one more example of spaces built with the intent of bringing our community together.
Equity and Access through Financial Aid
We strive to make this school a place of inclusivity and one way we can work to give our students equal access to the opportunities at Brooks is through financial aid. Brooks is proud to welcome students to the community from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Tuition can be a significant barrier for some students and families who are a terrific fit for Brooks. Financial aid helps to alleviate some of that burden and may, in addition to tuition, help cover the cost of things like books, computers and fees associated with standardized testing or college applications. Through the campaign and the generous philanthropy of our constituents, we are in a position to provide 30 percent of our student body with financial aid each year. This matters because each student with their various backgrounds, beliefs and talents contributes to the overall character of the school. Your support of financial aid ensures that students on financial aid receive the same opportunities to go on college visits or attend off-campus events as their peers. In all of these ways, we are striving to ensure that we are providing the best educational experience for all of our students.
In addition to shoring up the endowment for financial aid, the school received a substantial gift during the campaign toward current-use financial aid, which is given and allocated on an annual basis. Together, both funds enable the school to reach its goal to provide about a third of the student body with some financial aid. For the 2018-2019 school year, we expect to provide financial aid to 35 new students. Combined with returning students, for the coming year, 31 percent of our student body will be supported through financial aid grants.
Support for Faculty
A key cornerstone of the campaign was faculty support including underwriting for professional development and continued learning opportunities, as well as aid for faculty pursuing advanced degrees. As Dean of Faculty John McVeigh points out, "There is no such thing as 'perfection' in teaching - even the most experienced and gifted educators know that you can always improve and add things to your toolbox. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by faculty members who care about kids and love the craft of teaching." Our teachers are committed to providing our students with the best educational opportunities that they can. In turn, Brooks is committed to making an investment in our talented faculty. In order to do so, we must also ensure that this environment is intellectually stimulating and provides pathways for faculty looking to learn and grow in ways that will ultimately benefit our students. Our hope is that our teachers will be able to apply new knowledge and insights to their classrooms in innovative ways.
A Strong Foundation
The Brooks Fund, our annual giving vehicle, is a mainstay of our development program. We rely on donors each year to support the school's day-to-day operation through their philanthropic gifts to the Brooks Fund. As it supplies roughly 10 percent of the operating budget, it is safe to say Brooks School would be a much different place than it is today without a strong base of support. The unrestricted nature of Brooks Fund gifts is incredibly important to the school's ability to respond to changing needs and unforeseen costs that may arise.
Since the Campaign for Brooks began in 2013, we have steadily increased our annual fundraising goal for the Brooks Fund, thanks to the unflagging support of our donors. In 2013, we raised $1,965,839 with gifts from 1,642 alumni, parent and friends. On June 30, 2018, we surpassed our Brooks Fund goal by nearly $12,000, reaching $2,299,863 in gifts from 1,694 individual donors. Increased participation and funding has enabled Brooks to make important improvements to the campus, such as the Learning Center, the Student Center and the Health and Wellness Center, just to name a few of the ways your support has impacted our students and their experience.
The Learning Center and the Student Center are spaces designed specifically for our students' needs. Each space serves a different purpose in the daily lives of our students. Individualized instruction and academic support are at the heart of everything the Learning Center does. Whether a student needs help with his or her homework or working on time and project management skills, our faculty members are available to provide assistance, support and advice, even during the evening and weekend hours.
Meanwhile, the Student Center gives students a space of their own to congregate, to study or work on collaborative projects, to relax and recharge their batteries. It was redesigned so that natural light permeates every corner. Both the Learning Center and the Students Center were renovated with the help of the Brooks Fund and support from major donors. Our community is grateful for the tireless and generous support of so many.