Alumna Deborah Simon ’74 and her foundation have pledged $100 million to Mercersburg Academy as the seed gift for the school’s Daring to Lead capital campaign.
In her announcement, Ms. Simon spoke favorably about the Mercersburg Academy experience:
“…Mercersburg was, and continues to be, a place where every student can be himself or herself.
…Mercersburg remains dedicated to bringing out the best in what each student has to offer. It’s freeing and empowering as a teenager to be accepted for your uniqueness, and to grow up with friends from different cultures and backgrounds.”
Simon’s donation will be used to endow financial aid, support faculty development, enhance facilities, and encourage innovative programming at the school. It also includes a matching component to encourage additional campaign contributions. Douglas Hale, head of school says:
“We are thrilled beyond words for this transformational gift and the confidence that Deborah and her foundation have placed in us…Because of their vision and generosity, young men and women from all walks of life will have access to an extraordinary education that will allow them to realize their potential…
Deborah’s gift has shined a light on the Mercersburg tradition of a rigorous education and an egalitarian, student-centered culture as a model for secondary education across the country…We are hoping her generosity inspires others to be part of the philanthropic tradition in secondary education, because an investment in our youth at adolescence is a powerful force for good.”
Only Barbara Dodd Anderson’s $128 million gift to the George School in 2007 and Walter Annenberg’s 1993 $100 million to the Peddie School in 1993 compare to Simon’s Mercersburg gift. Simon is a member of Mercersburg’s Board of Regents and attended the school from 1972-1974.