2020/21 Report on Philanthropy

Letter from the Head of School

Letter from the Head of School

On behalf of the entire Sidwell Friends community, thank you for the extraordinary generosity you demonstrated during the 2020/21 academic year. This year’s Report on Philanthropy celebrates the remarkable support that you have provided to the School during a challenging time.

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Generosity in Action

Why We Give


"Giving to the School was an easy decision for us: We wanted to have a lasting impact on this community, and we want more families, regardless of resources, to have opportunities to enjoy the Sidwell Friends experience. We are most excited about the School’s commitment to equity, justice, and inclusion. Sidwell Friends has been so thoughtful in the way it implements its values and vision. Funding the African and African American Studies Program allows current and future students to benefit from robust critical thinking and exploration. Given the racial history and current dynamics in our country, this program is vital for our children’s development."


"I want to give back to Sidwell Friends because Sidwell Friends gave so much to me. My values, goals, life choices, and countless other defining
characteristics of who I am today have been influenced by my time at the School. I hope my gifts accomplish two goals: supporting teachers and making the School as affordable as
possible. When alums step up, our giving helps ensure that Sidwell Friends attracts and retains the best educators and provides financial aid to students who need it. It is the combination of those two groups—passionate, engaging teachers and driven, caring students—that makes Sidwell Friends so special, and alumni get to make sure both groups have the financial support they deserve."


"I’ve been privileged to have had multiple relationships with Sidwell Friends—first as a student and then as a parent, donor, and trustee. I’ve been able to see the School from different perspectives over the past four decades, and perhaps what amazes me most is how the mission of the School has remained so consistent over those years. My wife, Anjali, and I feel fortunate to be able to support this mission, particularly through financial aid as the tuition level across all independent schools has grown significantly in the four decades since I was a student at Sidwell Friends. A values-based education is more important now than ever as we live in an increasingly polarized world, and I have full confidence that Sidwell Friends will continue to educate students to have the confidence and the credibility to speak truth to power; to shine a light on the wrong, the unfair, the uncomfortable; and to build a better and more inclusive world for us all."


"As a Sidwell Friends student, I was surrounded by excellence: the best athletes, the best lunches, the best go-gos, and the best facilities. Most importantly, the best friends (like Chery Weaver, Natalie Randolph, Kenzo Hakuta, Kush El-Amin, and Jason Jeffery, who scooped me up with love,
showed me the ropes, and made me believe I was home) and the best teachers (like Rickey Payton, who helped me find my voice and gave me space to explore it).

What I found in Sidwell Friends was a world in which I could explore the deepest parts of my soul. It gave me the space to open my heart and truly know that I could think outside the box and create my own reality. Sidwell Friends made me. I could not be the physician, entrepreneur, and quirky, tree-hugging human I am today without it.

I want Sidwell Friends to continue in perpetuity and the way that happens is with proper funding to support strong financial aid efforts, salaries worthy of the committed teachers and administrators who receive them, and beautiful, modern, state-of-the-art building expansions. I am grateful to be in a position to share what I have to make sure Sidwell Friends thrives forever."


"I give to Sidwell Friends because I want more
students to be able to access the opportunities that the School provides. I feel so lucky to be a part of this community, and it’s a great way to stay in touch with my classmates. Sidwell Friends shaped and made me aware of the lens through which I view the world and gave me empathy for the lenses of others. It’s also where I met my now-fiancé and my very closest friends to this day."


"We chose Sidwell Friends for our kids not as much for the strong academic foundation it provides as for the values it helps us to instill and its focus on diversity. Not only is Sidwell Friends supporting us in raising our kids to value equity, service, and global citizenship, the School is also helping us to raise our children to value themselves. Sidwell Friends teachers have been helping our kids to know and value the Light in themselves and others in their diverse community. And so we choose to support the School out of gratitude for all that the community has already done for our kids as well as to help the School achieve even greater success in incorporating and valuing diverse perspectives throughout all divisions."


"Sidwell Friends has always exemplified the values
I want to pass on to my children. I am proud to give
to Sidwell Friends and proud to help keep those values and traditions alive. I hope that my gift underwrites excellent faculty, a deep
curriculum, and an appreciation of the life of the mind. I’m excited that as Sidwell Friends honors its past, it is always looking to the future—learning from history, developing social awareness, and promoting diversity."


"Having spent meaningful time in class and on the field with so many good people over the years, and knowing that some of them— including my own children—could never have attended without the generosity of donors, I am ever thankful for the financial aid program at Sidwell Friends and for the spirit that generates it.


"As a member of the Board of Trustees, I have most enjoyed having the opportunity to hear from, and dialogue with, the School’s magnificent students. Their passion for learning, curiosity about the world around them, and desire to find ways to reach out ethically and empathically beyond the Sidwell Friends community are just a few of the characteristics I have enjoyed seeing in these incredible people. What most excites me about the future of Sidwell Friends is the unification of our three divisions on one campus, because it will give students of all ages the opportunity to interact with and learn from one another in ways we can only glimpse now, but which will add tremendous value for all."

More Donor Stories

Wonder Wall

A new athletics display will highlight history, honor sports leadership, and inspire future athletes to shine at Sidwell Friends.

A Lifetime Of Friendship

For George Bernstein ’64, Alan Bernstein ’59, and Daniel Bernstein ’55, support for Sidwell Friends is vital to the story of their lives.

5 Questions for Natasha Schooling P ’24, ’27

Since joining the community three years ago, Natasha and Robert Schooling P ’24, ’27 have provided philanthropic leadership to Sidwell Friends. Supporting the School helps achieve their family’s goals: receiving a top-flight education and fostering ethical leadership. Now a Parent Campaign Committee member, Natasha Schooling has a new perspective on the value of giving back to Sidwell Friends.

Meeting Our Match

In the second annual 48 Hours for Scholars, former A Night for Scholars co-chairs once again inspire others to give.