Dare Campaign Hits the Quad
by Kevin Lu on Friday, November 6th, 2015
Dare: The Campaign for Milton, Milton Academy’s fundraising campaign, hopes to significantly increase Milton’s endowment in the next five years in order to increase faculty compensation and support, emphasize student financial aid, and revitalize the older buildings on campus.
According to Head of School Todd Bland, two main facets of the endowment will go to faculty support—which may include compensation and health insurance—and financial aid for students. Mr. Bland hopes that the school can “come closer to becoming need-blind” in the admission process. A smaller portion of funds will also go towards infrastructure, specifically, renovating Ware Hall, and, according to Mr. Bland, possibly towards “a new building attached to the AMC and the library which would be focused on math.” The foreseeable changes to Ware would make the building more suited to student needs. The languages department would be on the bottom floor, administrations and assembly would be on the first floor, and middle school would be on the top two floors. With those changes, math would then be moved to a new building connecting the AMC and Cox library.
Currently, Milton’s endowment per pupil is relatively low. According to Mr. Bland, “compared to our peers, [our endowment]—$265 million—is quite low.” This translates into around $216,000 per student; in comparison, Exeter has over $1 million per student.
Current Milton parent and alumnus, Emily Franklin ‘90 states, “The fact of the matter is that Milton needs to keep evolving, and in order to do that, large amounts of money need to be raised. Milton also needs to keep their endowment up to keep providing financial aid, keep bringing in speakers, and just running student’s day to day lives.”
The campaign, launched under the already infamous tent, will likely end around 2019, when the current freshman graduate. According to Mr. Bland, the goal of the campaign is to raise around $175 million. When interviewed before the public launch of the campaign on October 24, Mr. Bland stated that he wished to raise half of the goal before official launch. Things have gone according to plan; as of November 3rd, according to a Milton Academy Facebook post, the campaign has already raised 48% of this $175 million, or around $84 million.
As of last year, Milton’s total endowment was $216 million. Of that money, $9 million was spent, as Milton only uses 4.6% of their endowment each year. That $9 million goes into Milton’s total operating expense of about $60 million. Seventy-four percent of expenses are paid with tuition, 15% with endowment funds, and the rest from other sources of revenue. If Milton operated on tuition alone, there would have to be cuts on the budget, limiting smaller, non-essential programs and reducing the money allotted for financial aid.
Logan Troy (II) says, “Milton needs something like [the DARE campaign] so that more students can come to our school on financial aid, and so we can select from a more diverse background of students.” With the capital campaign, Milton would be able to use more of the endowment money, striving towards their many goals of renovating the campus and becoming need blind for admission.
With the money gathered, we can hope that in the future there will be new buildings for students to use, and a modernization of the current ones. Students would be allowed to further their connections with their teachers as well. If Milton can get enough money, admissions could become need-blind, allowing us to admit anyone regardless on whether or not they can pay the full tuition. For teachers, this could mean more perks for them as they work and more health security.
Mr. Bland came to upperclassmen assemblies to directly address students on the importance of the campaign, highlighting the great benefits it could have on the community as a whole. Student reactions have been positive and supportive of the administration’s efforts, especially in response to a tent raised to mark the public launch of the campaign that covered a quarter of the Quad. Nick Govindan (II) says, “It is completely necessary to have this big event. A big goal requires a big start. And spending however much they spent on the tent and everything else is completely justified if they reach their audacious goal.”
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7431