As you walk around campus, you can admire all the upgrades made by our incredible maintenance staff during the summer holidays: fresh paint, beautiful lush gardens, new signs, improved security protocols. Our teams were hard at work preparing the campus to continue offering its students the best American independent education in a 21st century learning environment.
One of the changes can be appreciated as you walk past the Founders’ garden. Can you tell what’s different? The “chunks” are gone! So what were they in the first place and where are they now?
In 1992, the Fund for Capital Building launched an exciting initiative on campus, as part of the Capital Building Fund Raising Campaign, to collect funding for a new, state-of-the-art Middle School building, as well as a Fine Arts Center, which are proud features on campus today! Of course, these ambitious projects were no small feat, and a total of $14 million dollars was needed to complete them. The ASF community quickly joined forces to build the school “brick by brick”, and the Fundraising Committee created the “chunk” campaign to raise funds.
An excerpt from the XI Summer/Fall Alumni Gazette published in 1993 reads: “Buy a brick… Buy a chunk of school! Donate as many ‘chunks’ as you’d like, with your name and class inscribed on it, for the Donors Plaza at the entrance of the School. Or, contact your classmates and donate a Class ‘chunk’”.
On January 13, 1996, the first section of the Donors Plaza was inaugurated and the families, faculty, staff and alumni who donated money for the cause, were immortalized with a “chunk” on the Plaza.
Every name belongs to a community member who believed in ongoing investment and stewardship in: state-of-the-art classrooms conducive to interactive learning; the finest technology, classrooms, science laboratories and athletic facilities; a new performing arts venue; the vanguard of technologies for students to research, work and communicate effectively.
Sadly, as time went by and more donors chipped in, there was no longer room for everyone! Time also took its toll on the “chunks”, and many of them were in bad condition, cracked and weathered by the elements.
In order to honor every single one of these donors, a new plaque has been created and will be permanently located outside the Paul Williams’ Upper School building. So next time you are on campus, head over to the US to check it out and take a minute to honor all the amazing members of our community who contributed to make ASF the amazing school we all enjoy today.