On the Campaign Trail...


Alumni Make History on The Road to 19

Calhoun alumni set a new giving record on January 19. Through the Road to 19 Alumni Giving Challenge, 357 gifts from across eight decades of graduates were raised in just one day!

Alumni were asked to step forward in an ambitious and potentially historic effort. The collective goal was to secure 219 gifts in 19 hours (the previous record for one day was 40 alumni gifts, reached in June 2016). At stake? A transformative $250,000 donation from an anonymous alum that would help support tuition assistance, faculty/staff salaries and school programming.

As the day approached, the alumni community received a rallying call from the Calhoun Cougar, and connections across generations of alums on social media were ignited as excitement about the challenge grew. The night before, staff watched as gifts began to flood in (our young alums were particularly fond of donating through the @CalhounSchoolAlumni Venmo account). On the 19th, long-tenured faculty and staff stepped forward as “celebrity callers” to help rally alumni, who all received a motivational call-to-action from fellow alum Ben Stiller ’83 as well. 

Several grads made meaningful tributes to Head of School Steve Nelson, retiring after 19 years this year, along with other impactful teachers over the past several decades. By 4pm, we had officially hit our goal, when a second anonymous alum announced he would match additional gifts beyond 219.

Multiple generations of Calhoun alumni joined in the 19 for 19 Campaign effort, ranging from graduates of 1942 to 2016. A special shout-out goes to our two youngest classes, with 21 gifts from the Class of 2015 and 27 gifts from the Class of 2016.

In total, The Road to 19 Alumni Giving Challenge raised 357 gifts and $285,798  (including 93 gifts from first-time donors!), sending a clear message to the Calhoun community – and the city at large – from alumni about their powerful, lifelong connections to Calhoun.

With his response to the donors, Steve Nelson reflected, "This Road to 19 achievement is meaningful on many, many levels.  In setting an historic record, you showed the Calhoun community at its very best and sent a loud signal about the important role Calhoun played in your lives.  As the gifts and names rushed by, I visualized each one of you and the important place you hold in our Calhoun story.  I'm grateful to everyone who joined the effort and made it so successful!"

Thank you, alumni – together, you made Calhoun history!!

Click here to see a complete list of Road to 19 donors.

Posted by Mary McCarty in 19 for 19 on Thursday January, 26, 2017

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Mary McCarty
Major Gifts Officer 

Main Building 3rd - 12th Grades 433 West End Avenue New York, NY 10024 212.497.6500

Robert L. Beir Lower School Building 2.8 Years - 2nd Grade 160 West 74th Street New York, NY 10023 212.497.6550

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