Chad Barnett believes the world "needs Linsly-educated people like never before," so he has faith that the alumni and friends of The Linsly School will help the institution meet its fundraising goals as its 2014 bicentennial approaches.
Earlier this month, Linsly unveiled "Forward and No Retreat - The 200th Anniversary Campaign," a capital fundraising effort with a goal of $10 million. On Thursday evening, Headmaster Barnett and other school officials launched the public phase of the campaign with a reception and a presentation outlining plans for the funds raised in the main academic building, Banes Hall.
The campaign has three main goals: building the endowment for scholarship and professional development; investing in academic excellence; and facility upgrades that will create better spaces to learn and grow.
Photo by Jennifer Compston-Strough
Officials of The Linsly School gather during the public kickoff of “Forward and No Retreat — The 200th Anniversary Campaign,” a $10 million fundraising effort. From left are Headmaster Chad Barnett, campaign chairman Dr. Donald Hofreuter, President for External Affairs Reno DiOrio and Development Director Mark Landini.
Development Director Mark Landini welcomed attendees and pointed to the dedicated service of the school's faculty. He cited that 10 faculty members have 30 or more years of service to Linsly, while 14 of the faculty are alumni of the school.
"Our No. 1 asset is our faculty," he noted.
Dr. Donald Hofreuter, an alumnus who now serves as chairman of the capital campaign, said the school has changed with the times in an effort to provide students with a values-based education in a disciplined environment.
"When I was a student, I was molded by a dedicated faculty," Hofreuter recalled. "And the students today are being influenced and nurtured by a caring faculty and leadership team."
Hofreuter said the capital campaign is important because it will allow Linsly to continue to provide young men and women of various cultural and economic backgrounds with an education that will serve them well in their lives and careers.
President for External Affairs Reno DiOrio discussed the school's history and development. Founded with a bequest by Noah Linsly on March 2, 1814, in what was then Wheeling, Va., Linsly began as a co-educational Lancastrian academy where older students were trained to tutor their younger peers.
From that time to its years as a boys-only military institute, to its current format as a co-ed college preparatory school, DiOrio said Linsly has adapted to help its students meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.
DiOrio also stressed that Linsly today is in the best shape of its long history.
Barnett then took the podium to discuss ways that Linsly prepares its pupils for their futures and how the capital campaign will help the school continue to do so. He said many modern children are "praise junkies" who are used to receiving a trophy simply for showing up. At Linsly, however, he said young people come to understand that they must earn recognition, success and self-esteem. He said youngsters crave structure and discipline, so Linsly challenges them to meet their potential.
Noting that Linsly's teachers know how to customize the educational experience for each student, he pointed out the campaign goal of building the school's endowment with $4 million of the $10 million total will help it to hire, develop and retain high-quality faculty members. Growing the endowment also will allow Linsly to help students who can't afford to attend classes there be able to obtain a Linsly education.
Regarding the school's tools, equipment and learning spaces, Barnett said $5 million of the funds raised will be devoted to expanding Banes Hall and upgrading the school's technology infrastructure. For example, a 100-seat high-tech classroom is expected to provide a presentation venue and make room for classes that more closely mirror university life. The school's library also will be expanded and upgraded from a library of the 1940s to a high-tech information hub.
Finally, facility upgrades estimated to cost $1 million include handicap accessibility upgrades such as an elevator in Banes Hall, along with the addition of a new HVAC system and gym floor in Behrens Gymnasium and more.
Linsly already has reached half its fundraising goal, but numerous opportunities to contribute remain. For more information on how to help, call 304-234-4602 or visit www.linsly.org.