Donor Stories

Report on Philanthropy

This Report on Philanthropy chronicles the remarkable support that you have provided to the School during an extraordinary year.

Advancing Friends

The philanthropy newsletter, featuring members of our community who are energizing the School’s comprehensive campaign through their giving and volunteerism.

Recent Donor Stories

Taking the Lead

A new endowment for the Leadership Academy keeps Sidwell Friends culture and Quaker values at the forefront for Athletics.

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Family Affair

Adé Heyliger and Sherrese Smith-Heyliger (P ’29, ’31) share their motivations for funding and naming the outdoor dining commons for the Upper School renovation.

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3 Questions with Meg Flax (P ’11, ’13, ’17)

Meg Flax (P ’11, ’13, ’17) may have transitioned off the Board of Trustees in 2019 when her term as clerk ended, but her service to Sidwell Friends continues unabated. In addition to volunteering for the School’s comprehensive campaign, Flax is the first clerk of the 1934 Council, a new venture that builds a foundation to engage and involve former trustees in the life of the School.

Read More about 3 Questions with Meg Flax (P ’11, ’13, ’17)
Spotlight on Tara and Craig Primis

Like so many of us, Tara and Craig Primis (P ’18, ’20, ’23) anticipated a far different 2020 than they experienced. They certainly wouldn’t have predicted last January that by June, their children would repurpose robotics equipment and turn their home into a factory for PPE to benefit pandemic first responders.

Read More about Spotlight on Tara and Craig Primis
Catching Up with Steven Bralove ’60

This past year, as he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his Sidwell Friends graduation, Steve shared memories of his experiences at the School and why he chose to make a new planned gift this year.

Read More about Catching Up with Steven Bralove ’60

Why We Give

Shawn Armbrust and Timothy Sparani P’30

We have been inspired to give to Sidwell Friends because we have been blown away by the quality of the faculty; we want the School to have the means to retain them, properly compensate them, and give them opportunities to stay at the top of the profession. We are also incredibly excited about opportunities like the Center for Ethical Leadership, which will allow the School to engage with the broader community and ensure that the values that have helped shape our daughter are more firmly entrenched for others as she leaves Sidwell Friends.

Jennifer Lawson and Anthony Gittens P’02

I have had the opportunity to observe and participate in Sidwell Friends for decades as a parent, trustee, and community member. This close look has strengthened my faith in Sidwell Friends’ commitment to quality education for a diverse community and its ability to nurture young lives. I hope my gift helps Sidwell Friends continue its journey as a place respectful of all people and our planet, where faculty and staff as well as students are constantly learning. Our future will require diverse groups of people working together harmoniously in imaginative ways. It is inspiring to see Sidwell Friends empowering young minds to search for their roles as contributors to the greater good.

Doug Thornell ’95

So much of what I do now in my profession, I learned from my time at Sidwell Friends: writing persuasively, putting forward ideas, respecting others, working as a team, handling adversity. I am inspired to give because I believe deeply in the mission of Sidwell Friends, and in the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts the School is implementing. It’s exciting to envision the School in five or 10 years.

Lory Ivey Alexander ’97

I give to Sidwell Friends because the financial aid program ensures that the School’s academic and co-curricular resources flow into communities across the DC region, regardless of socioeconomic status. I hope that my contributions as a donor and fundraiser help bridge the gap between deserving future leaders and a world-class education. As today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders, they will rely on the core beliefs they learned here. I look forward to seeing how the School’s recent, unequivocal commitment to identifying and addressing racism, bigotry, and prejudice on campus—specifically anti- Blackness—will be implemented in the culture and curriculum.

Lumay Wang ’07

Every year, I give to Sidwell Friends because the teachers, staff, and community raise our students to value how powerful their voices can be! The School instills in students the belief that an individual can make real change, tackle a problem head on, and be persistent until the change comes about. I am so proud of how my classmates, alumni, and current students take leadership seriously, think critically, and engage thoughtfully on the biggest issues facing our world today.

Previous Publications


Tara Arras
Assistant Head of School for Advancement