Peddie Chronicle Spring/Summer 2022

From the Peddie Chronicle.

One Peddie

Peddie_Visual_Capture created by Zara Stasi

LET’S REFLECT: At the One Peddie campaign launch, campaign leaders asked members of the Peddie community to share their motivation for being a part of the largest campaign in the school’s history. Zara Stasi ’08 created this visual capture of their responses.


 

APRIL 9, 2022, marked a milestone date in Peddie’s history.

More than 175 people gathered at the Ian H. Graham ’50 Athletic Center to help launch the One Peddie campaign, the school’s most ambitious fundraising effort ever.

One Peddie seeks to raise more than $80 million to secure Peddie’s future as one of the nation’s top schools, though campaign leaders say they are optimistic about exceeding that goal.

Head of School Peter Quinn P’15 ’18 ’21 told the crowd of alumni, parents, faculty, trustees and friends that now is the time for Peddie to dream  big. “This is our chance to do more, to dream  more, to reach more – together.”

The leadership phase of the campaign began in 2018, just after the school adopted its 25-year strategic plan, which prioritized excellence in transformational education, access for students  with the greatest excitement, curiosity and character, financial sustainability and telling the Peddie story more boldly and broadly. To date, the One Peddie campaign has raised more than $74 million for The Peddie Fund, endowed funding for the school’s highest priorities and capital funding for the arts and athletics.

“Ambassador Annenberg’s $100 million gift in 1993 provided the resources to support substantial progress over the past 25 years,” said Assistant Head for Development Karyn Vella. “This is the  time to build upon Annenberg’s legacy and think about where we want Peddie to be in the next 25 years. This is the time for us to come together as  One Peddie.”


Read more about the campaign priorities at one.peddie.org.

 

Campaign Stories

Ahim Midha '09

Ashim Midha '09

On May 31, 2009, Head of School John Green stood at the podium in Ayer Memorial Chapel during the school’s 141st Commencement and declared the following  to 131 graduating seniors:

“While Peddie may provide you with an elite education, Peddie does not graduate elitists.”

It’s a message that Ashim Midha ’09 still thinks about 13 years later. “I still think about that phrase nearly every day,” said Midha. “It really puts everything in context; no matter where I am, that I should feel privileged and lucky to be there. And as a result, be appreciative and try to make the most of it.” Midha also credits Peddie with many of the practical skills he has utilized since graduation.

“Peddie was eye-opening in that it helped me understand that any so-called ‘limits’ I thought impacted me were simply self-imposed,” he said. “It was an interesting realization — that naturally took time to come to fruition — that those limits really only exist in your head and can be easily rectified with focused, hard and consistent work.”

The now Peddie Fund Alumni Co-Chair and loyal Peddie Fund donor is excited about building up Peddie’s financial aid profile as part of the One Peddie campaign. “Having a socio-economically diverse community is THE way to maintain that ‘elite, not elitist’ profile that we all have and can continue to benefit from,” Midha said. “That is why I am most excited about the long-term effects of the campaign that bring Peddie even closer to our dream of need-blind admissions yield.”

Arthur E. Brown, M.D. '63

Last year, Arthur Brown’s 60-year friendship with fellow Peddie alumnus David Mitchell inspired him and his wife, Jo, to create The Honorable David B. Mitchell ’63 and Diane T. Mitchell Fund for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The landmark fund is the first of its kind at Peddie, designed to continuously foster a culture of citizenship, respect and belonging at the school.

Brown served on Peddie’s Board of Trustees and various trustee committees from 1999 to 2017 and is currently recognized as an advisory trustee.

What’s more, in 2019, Brown established two endowed funds as part of the One Peddie campaign: the Arthur E. Brown, M.D. ’63 and Jo F. Brown Scholarship Fund and the Arthur E. Brown, M.D. ’63 Science Department Chair.

In February 2020, Brown was the honoree and speaker on Founders Day when he emphasized the importance of community, preparedness and gratitude in his chapel address. He tied these elements together, illustrating how Peddie helped shape him into the man he is today — and that is the catalyst for why he gives back.

“The Peddie community provided me with a safe and comfortable place where I could take chances and just learn to be myself — my best self,” he said.

 

Mike Armellino '57 GP'19

First recipient of the Thomas B. Peddie Award. Creator of the Armellino Scholarship Fund. Emeritus trustee. Whether it’s philanthropy or making connections, Mike Armellino walks  the walk when it comes to giving back to Peddie … and he wants everyone on board.

The original goal for the campaign was to raise $80M. Why are you now looking higher?
When we set the original goal, we were skeptical, including me. Peddie had never done anything on that scale. But once it became obvious that we could get to $80M, why not set the bar higher?

What will $80M mean for Peddie in terms of access — of being able to attract the best and brightest students? 
The more people who can give back and be generous to Peddie, the more we’re going to be able to increase access to anyone who can meet the requirements. Building a culture of giving and getting people in that mindset is going to go a long way to our success.

You’re talking about counting less on a large lump sum, like an Annenberg gift, and more of a grassroots effort.
Yeah, I don’t think we can count on lightning striking again.

What inspires you most?
Coming on campus and meeting with the kids and seeing the scholarship kids. I try to stay in touch with them after graduation, and I think those are the emotional attachments and bonds that will make Peddie’s future and Peddie’s ability to raise funds in the future, to increase access. Those are the things that will bind people to the school and will make them want to come back and want to contribute. It sure works for me.

 


 

Stephanie Brisbin Warren '95

Stephanie Warren ’95 transferred to Peddie from what she described as a “very tough” school just outside Chicago.

“There were a lot of gang problems, a lot of fighting, and very little focus on academics,” she said. “I wanted more.”

Peddie was unlike anything Warren had ever experienced. Smaller class sizes. High-powered academics. An international community. A vast array of sports and activities. And a pervasive cultural sentiment: Try new things, even if you don’t immediately succeed.

“I never had so many opportunities, so many people tell me to try things, even if you fail. So many people believing in me that I could do more,” Warren recalled.

After graduating from Peddie, Warren attended Northwestern University, where she was a pre-med and communications major. Today, she and her family live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Warren, who co-chairs the alumni division of the One Peddie campaign, said she is excited to be able to give back to the school that changed her life. She and her husband, John, recently made a multi-year pledge to Peddie, directing their gift to The Peddie Fund and unrestricted endowment.

Steph Warren Quote