Leslie B. Littlejohn, 'P03, '05

Our children chose Taft because of its size, the sense of community they felt, and the opportunities they would have. Taft was able to support and challenge our children academically as their teachers, coaches, and advisers helped them prepare for their successes in college.

Having been head of the Parents Committee, which coincided with the development of the 2004 strategic plan for the school under Willy MacMullen, I felt the direction of Taft was one that would make the school the exceptional institution it is today. Taft stands out because of its diversified and talented student body; the school's culture of commitment to service and honor; the academic curriculum, which encourages risk taking and challenging oneself; and the faculty who are so engaged in every aspect of students' lives.

Today, Taft is involved in a capital campaign. Our need, our goal, is to increase our endowment. At approximately $230 million, it lags compared to our peer schools. Income distributions from the endowment offset roughly 25 percent of the $45 million annual operating and scholarship expenditures. The school's budget is essentially balanced by tuition, which hovers around the peer group average of $50,000 a year per student.

An endowment of $300 million or more would strategically and financially move the school closer to its nearest competitors, and help to ensure that academic and athletic excellence continue unabated at a reasonable cost; that the school's diverse student population would flourish aided by scholarships; and that the best teaching talent would be found and retained. Steady, sustainable endowment income would also guarantee the resources required to maintain a first-class, state-of-the art campus.

A planned gift can help us reach our campaign goal and certainly complement one's annual gift to the school. The easiest way to accomplish this involves a bequest naming the school in your will.

As another option, you could also consider a life-income gift, such as a charitable gift annuity, which I find very satisfactory.

Please call Chris Latham in the Development Office for a range of opportunities, which may surprise you with regards to benefiting you, your family, and, of course, our school.

Our family will continue to champion Taft and we urge you to consider a planned gift for the school. Thanks so much.