Drummond C. Bell III '63, P'90,'92, "A Trustee's Perspective."

As an alumnus, parent of two Taft graduates, trustee of the school and co-chair of the development committee, I have a deep loyalty for Taft - I'm committed to building a strong future for our great school.

Our endowment plays a crucial role in the school's finances, currently providing about 24 percent of the income for the annual budget. This steady and sustainable funding is needed to ensure that our level of education is superior; that the faculty and staff are the best in their fields; that we educate the whole student for success in every way; and that our campus continues to be well maintained

The current endowment of approximately $208 million is due to many bequests, large and small; outright contributions; and a very good management of the assets by the board's investment committee and professional management services.

Our endowment compared to our peer schools, however is significantly smaller - though we have managed to be competitive irrespective of this reality. There are times when our peers' financial advantages challenge our competitiveness, particularly with regard to attracting extremely qualified applicants.

What can you do to ensure a great future of our school? Join the Horace Dutton Taft Legacy Society by making a bequest, or establish some other planned gift as your legacy to Taft!

In 2011, we introduced the newly formed Horace Dutton Taft Legacy Society as a way to recognize alumni and friends who had established planned gifts for Taft. In just one short year, legacy society membership has grown from 93 to 207 alumni and friends.

We would like to ask everyone receiving this newsletter who has not already established a planned gift to consider one benefiting Taft's endowment—a bequest in your will is often the easiest way to accomplish this. Other expedient ways include naming the school as a sole or partial beneficiary of your IRA, insurance policy or other qualified retirement plans. I established a planned gift last year and encourage you to do the same.

A goal of 500 Horace Dutton Taft Legacy Society members with documented gifts by 2015, the school's 125th anniversary, would lay a solid financial base for the school. Such a gift would also count toward a class contribution once you provide necessary documentation.

Thank you for your loyalty and unfaltering support of our school.