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KUA Passes Goal In $47 Million Campaign

In 2003, the leadership of Kimball Union Academy began brainstorming a long-term plan for the school, attempting to determine how best to improve it going forward.

The process led to a capital campaign called the IMPACT Campaign that, from its inception in 2006 to its conclusion at the end of last year, brought it $47.4 million. That’s about $9 million more than the stated goal.

“It was a tremendous effort on the part of the board and the community to rally around the idea of Kimball Union,” said Mike Schafer, KUA’s Head of School.

The money will be — and, in certain cases, has already been — put toward a laundry list of improvements. They range from the physical, such the 19 new humanities classrooms in the recently renovated Miller Bicentennial Hall, to the slightly more abstract, such as the increase in the endowment from about $8 million to $24 million, Schafer said.

Other fixes include renovated tennis courts, six new faculty homes and various assorted energy and landscape upgrades. Money from the campaign also went into projects such as the Barn, an indoor practice facility with artificial turf, while the campaign went on.

It began with a “silent phase” that lasted from 2006 to 2008, Schafer said. That phase garnered about $10 million. A $5 million anonymous gift in 2008 kicked off the campaign’s public phase.

With about 14 months left in the campaign — it was set to end at the end of 2013, KUA’s bicentennial year — Schafer said the staff was nervous the school wouldn’t meet its $38 million objective. But the nerves didn’t last.

“The excitement and the ... combination of changing economic environment, the excitement of the campaign and where it had brought us to that point, and the advent of the bicentennial led to a $14 million year,” he said.

Of the total $47.4 million raised, $25 million will go into the building and improvement of facilities. An additional $3.5 million will go towards the school’s financial assistance endowment, money that Schafer said would go toward giving financial aid to increase the school’s socioeconomic diversity.

About 40 percent of the school’s 340 students receive some form of financial assistance, Schafer said.

Over the course of the campaign, 15 gifts of more than $1 million were given. And, according to Schafer, a small number of major gifts last year catapulted the total, ultimately setting the stage for the planned upgrades, renovations and fixes.

“It was an unprecedented response,” Schafer said.

Student News

Emma Poplack has been named Lebanon High School’s February Student of the Month. She is co-president of the Superlatives, an elite vocal group, and helped organize the school’s holiday food drive that brought in 1,500 pounds of food for the Haven food bank. Senior Yen Truong was the school’s January Student of the Month. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Literary Club and Art Club.

∎ Thetford Academy seventh-grader Owen Deffner was chosen as one of the top 20 young writers in U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ annual State of the Union essay contest for Vermont high school students. Five Vermont teachers judged the contest, awarded four top prizes, and named 16 finalists, including Owen.

Emily K. Seamans of Canaan was named to the dean’s list at the University of Connecticut .

Daniel Elliott has been named to the dean’s list for the Fall 2013 semester at the University of Vermont. Elliott, of Norwich, is a junior business administration major in the school of business .

Molly Reed, of Lebanon, was named to the Fall 2013 Dean’s List at the University of New Hampshire .

Katelyn Lyman of White River Junction, an accounting major, was named to the honor’s list at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, for the fall semester.

Thaddeus Buttrey of Thetford was named to the Dean’s List at Kalamazoo College for the fall term .

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.