When I was asked to write a letter for the annual Report of Giving, I did what I would normally do: reflect on the past year. I would think about the traditions and rituals that mark the triumphant end of a school year, most particularly graduation. Sending another class off to college while the remaining classes advance with pride and expectation to the following year. When I reflect upon this past year, COVID-19 blurs everything. The 2019-20 school year was unfinished. We left campus abruptly in March, and we never returned. The remote start of the school year had the same unfinished feel to it, yet it brought great satisfaction, too. We had faced COVID-19, and still managed to thrive, as a school and as a community. Those reflections brought a range of emotions to mind, and the emotion that stood out for me most is gratitude. Gratitude for this community’s remarkable generosity — generosity of spirit, action and financial support – throughout the year. Our community came together like never before during the pandemic, and no words can properly express my gratitude.
As a testament to the strength of our community’s belief in our mission and the outstanding work of my colleagues, more than 1,645 donors donated $9,084,357 to RE in 2019-20: a new record during unusually challenging and uncertain times. These numbers reflect many generous gifts to REinventing Excellence, our campaign, and to The Fund for RE, which raised $3,000,670 and is only the second time in our history that we have surpassed $3 million in the annual fund!
In the shadow of COVID-19, we pressed on with the projects we had already begun. The largest of which is the Constance & Miguel Fernandez STEM Center, made possible by many generous donors who are listed in this report. The STEM center was opened to our community in August, and it is magnificent. This building is a jewel in RE’s crown for generations to come, and will forever change how our students learn and experience the sciences, technology, engineering and math at RE and beyond.
I invite you to read through this report of giving. On each page, you will find the mission of our school reflected and embraced by all those who work here, send their children here or who graduated from RE. We are RE, and we are proud!
Stephanie G. Townsend, Head of School