Home Community Blog Waterford Rises: Building a Bridge Toward a Bright Future

By Todd Winters, Assistant Head Of School For Enrollment & Institutional Advancement

Our successful—and complete—Waterford Rises campaign achieved the lofty campaign goal of $30M in April 2023. This monumental achievement was made possible through the extraordinary vision and generosity of 212 donors. Thank you, Waterford Rises donors! 

Your unwavering support of Waterford Rises provided the resources for the school to fulfill the power and the promise of its aspirational mission and vision—to inspire individuals to pursue lives of meaning and purpose by providing a world-class liberal arts education that stimulates intellect, ignites passion, and shapes character. 

Our entire Waterford community championed this campaign which was built upon the foundation of our strategic plan, prioritizing an extraordinary student experience, teaching excellence, and financial sustainability. As we approach our fifth decade of excellence, the Waterford Rises campaign leaned into our bedrock tradition as a world-class liberal arts school as we imagined the possibilities, invested in our vision, and inspired an exceptionally bright future for generations of Waterford students to come. 

In late August, we dedicated the magnificent Murray Science Center. The Athletic Turf Field dedication ceremony will be in mid-April 2024 with the Student Commons ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, August 24 in association with the Opening Family Brunch. 

Importantly, Waterford Rises went beyond supporting the critical infrastructure needs of our School, to supporting the people who breathe life into these new buildings—our students and our faculty. Growing Waterford’s endowment is central to our goal of mission excellence. A robust endowment fund provides student financial aid and scholarship assistance and consistent, high-quality professional development while ensuring the long-term financial health of our institution. The school’s endowment nearly doubled through restricted gifts generously donated in the Waterford Rises campaign. 

As a final note, recognition and thanks are due the Board of Trustees for its firm commitment to this ambitious campaign, Campaign Chair, Steve Miller and Vice Chair, Kristin Stockham, and the Core Campaign and Steering Committees. Waterford Rises challenged our community to reach new heights. The campaign honored our fidelity to Waterford’s aspirational mission, requiring courage and vision. But no doubt, Waterford School will continue to strive for excellence every step of the way as we build a bridge toward a bright future for our students and families for generations to come.


The Sue and Ron Mika Family

Long ago we decided to prioritize our charitable giving and we chose education as one of our top three priorities. Since first enrolling our children in Waterford nearly 20 years ago, the school fulfilled that desire to support educational causes due to our children’s positive school experiences. In prior years, we mainly supported the annual fund and the endowment. When the Waterford Rises campaign began, in support of the new strategic plan and new master plan, this became an important additional area of giving for our family. 

Our motivation as an alumni family to remain involved as volunteers and donors at Waterford is largely the product of our association with the many fantastic people we’ve met over the years among school leadership, faculty, staff, and parents. Second, and foremost, we also recognize the tremendous impact the School has on over 1,000 students each year as it shapes their character to become impactful contributors in their communities. This last element alone will keep Waterford among our top charitable causes for years to come. 

We have always been very gratified giving to Waterford regardless of the particular campaign or cause. We’ve had very positive experiences at the School and can see that, in part, donations contribute to the overall success of the School. 

As we reflect upon some of our favorite memories at Waterford, Commencement was always a highlight for us. We had five children graduate from Waterford. The last Commencement was particularly memorable when our youngest child, Kyle, received The Waterford Award. This was a tremendous capstone to all of our children’s Commencement ceremonies at the School. 

We invite every member of the Waterford community to be involved as deeply as possible as a volunteer to become knowledgeable about the School and its attributes. Then become aware of the philanthropic needs of the School. Finally, compare and contrast the School’s needs with your family’s other philanthropic goals and rank them. We can pretty much guarantee that weighing the cost/benefit tradeoffs, Waterford will likely end up in your top five giving priorities. Then give accordingly—and you’ll come away with even more positive feelings about the School! 


The Joy and Jeff Duke Family

We enjoy contributing to Waterford’s future to guarantee this unique academic, artistic, athletic, and cultural experience for decades and generations to come. We truly believe the Waterford School is a unique institution of learning nestled along the Wasatch Front from which we envision each of our grandchildren graduating. As we reflect on our favorite Waterford memories, the Commencement experience for each of our six graduates truly stands out along with the amazing choral and orchestra performances throughout our Waterford journey. The many victories and defeats on the soccer field and basketball court are also important lessons learned.

We’ve remained involved and closely connected to this special community as parents of alumni and grandparents to support the well-being and well-roundedness of our grandchildren, and God willing, our great-grandchildren. We’ve appreciated how Waterford has remained a beacon of consistent introspection and advancement. Fundamentally experiencing little change in core values and academic standards has allowed Waterford to maintain its roots and the core values we wish to see in our grandchildren.

We encourage all members of the Waterford community to contribute to the financial health of such a great institution that will enhance the Waterford experience today and ensure longevity for future generations of students. Through our financial support to Waterford, we can provide an academic safe place and launching pad, not just for our own loved ones, but we can extend through scholarships and financial assistance the same privilege to others less financially able but equally eager to learn, associate, and excel.


The Alexandra & Darrin Brown Family

Our support for the Waterford Rises campaign grew out of our deep and abiding affection for our new home—Waterford School. We’ve been inspired by other Waterford parents, and the Waterford community in general. We’ve seen firsthand how much effort, how much time, how much care goes into everything done to create and ensure the absolute best educational experience for our kids and the students who will come after them.

It is a joy each morning watching our kids joyfully skip to the Lower School student entrance and stop for a brief chat with Dr. Battistone. They just love it here! And most importantly, they are surrounded by wonderful educators. What is our driving motivation to join in this Waterford partnership? Our children are our prime motivations in everything we do, and we are fortunate enough that we can contribute to building (literally and metaphorically) something great for them and for their peers. We invite all members of the Waterford community to pause, as we have, and realize just how lucky we are to be here. We know our family is in the right place.


The Kali and Eric Corliss Family

We chose to make a gift to Waterford Rises as a down payment for the future and a thank you for the past. We believe the new Murray Science Center and Student Commons will serve our daughters, and all students, well for years to come and we wanted to be a part of that. But we also wanted to express our gratitude for everything the Waterford School has done for us, both individually and as a family. We hope our donation will honor and appreciate what the school has accomplished in the past, and at the same time, express our optimism for its future.

Pledging our financial support to Waterford Rises made us feel more connected when at the time, we were very new to the community. As a Waterford alumna (Kali ‘01) and current parents, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to contribute to this incredible institution in every way possible. Leaders like Nancy Heuston (Founding Head of School) and many others laid the groundwork for this exceptional school, and we believe it’s now our turn to uphold the traditions and values they established. In a world that’s changing so quickly and where institutions often lose their essence, we’re dedicated to helping preserve this treasure of a school for our children and for generations to come.

Since our girls started at Waterford we’ve noticed their increased commitment to their schoolwork. They feel a sense of ownership and pride in their learning. We don’t have to make them do their homework; our girls want to keep up with their studies and love being a part of such a robust learning community. Our entire family has benefited from being a part of such a passionate and curious community.

One of my (Kali ‘01) most cherished Waterford memories happened last spring, during the Class of 2023 commencement ceremony on the Waterford quad. What elevated this moment to something truly special was seeing my daughter Claire, who’s in Class V, take the stage to sing the traditional “Irish Blessing” song to the graduating class. In an instant, I was transported back to my own graduation from Waterford, where Lower School children performed that same touching song. The whole experience felt like both a homecoming and a new beginning rolled into one.

If others are considering making Waterford their philanthropic priority, we suggest they personally consider the school’s mission, vision, and core values. They should ask themselves, “Do these values resonate with us? Do we wish for our children to aspire to ‘Live Honorably’, ‘Love Beauty’, ‘Seek Wisdom’”? If the answer is yes, then we extend our invitation to support Waterford which promotes those values in a big way.


The Carol and David Powell Family

It brings us great joy and satisfaction to know we are helping future generations experience the excellence Waterford School provides. It is our way of giving back, to show our appreciation for the experiences and quality education our son had as a student of Waterford (Michael ‘04). By specifying our donation towards scholarships and tuition assistance, we know that we are providing children who would otherwise not be able to attend Waterford, the opportunity to experience a Waterford education. By creating an endowed fund, The Carol and David Powell Family Endowed Scholarship, through a planned gift, it is a gift that keeps on giving.

We were initially drawn to Waterford because of the school’s commitment to the importance of a classical education combined with an emphasis on high moral standards. This never wavered during our six years with the school. We feel compelled to support organizations with whom we share ideals so those values can be passed on to new members of the organization and community, thus continuing to build on and improve society. Waterford exemplifies all that is good within the educational system. It can only continue to do this with the support of people who appreciate the efforts and goals of Waterford School.

We feel Waterford School provided the best years of our son’s education, including college. The faculty and administration of the school were and are top-quality individuals. We want to see other children benefit from what Waterford has to offer.

We encourage every member of the Waterford community to support the school’s mission through philanthropy. We invite others to make a gift that will give other children the opportunity to experience a top-notch learning experience. Tuition alone cannot provide for the continued growth of the campus, its programs, and all the opportunities the school provides. We want our gift to benefit other children throughout the rest of their education and into their adult lives, as we experienced with our son Michael, because of what is learned, academically and ethically, at Waterford.

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