“None of this would have been possible without your contributions, so thank you for all the magic that it has brought. Thank you and Happy Holidays!”

The quote above is from a recent holiday greeting sent from one of our talented Senior School students to a donor. This student was writing in recognition of the donor family’s long-term role in supporting the theatre program at the school. The student went on to say, “It’s so magical to watch friendships grow and boundaries be pushed, both vocally and physically for each actor and dancer. All with laughs ... it’s very inspiring!”

The magic they refer to exists not only on the receiving end when students enjoy and benefit from the generosity of our donors, but in the joy we experience as donors ourselves.

As the year draws to a close, and with the holidays soon upon us, we wanted to let you know that your support for our school provides a daily dose of inspiration and magic for us all. Support comes in many forms, and gifts come in many ways and sizes.

A few months ago I wrote to the community to share our most significant goal for the school year: encouraging a broader shared participation in support for SMUS. We have seen that participation demonstrated in some incredible ways in just a few short months, which is enormously gratifying and puts the wind in our sails!

Two of the most recent examples of giving back that are inspiring us are the community response to Giving Tuesday earlier this week and the participation of faculty and staff in the Annual Appeal this year. Through the challenge of three matching gifts from an alumnus and two current parent families, we asked you to consider making your gift this past week in support of School Priorities and Financial Aid. You did it and then some! The matching challenge of $55,000 clearly resonated with the SMUS community and collectively you donated another $65,125 for a grand total of $120,125!

We received this message on Tuesday from one of our alumni from the Class of 2000: “I'm grateful for the anonymous matching alumnus who prompted me to act to make a difference. Please pass my regards to that person; it's such generosity that triggered me today to act.”

In addition to this good news, our amazing staff and faculty continue to raise the bar on the participation challenge. The latest figures show that almost 43% of our amazing faculty and staff have already shown their support for and their belief in SMUS by making a gift to the Every Student. Every Opportunity. campaign as of the end of November!

I am personally very grateful to this school community for such a warm welcome to the fold, and I am inspired by the many examples of how the community is coming together to benefit the students. As a strong and connected community on the brink of launching a whole new strategic vision, we will find ourselves able to shape and influence the future success of SMUS.