Bold Action: A Global Campaign

With nearly $95 million raised to date, Bold Action: A Campaign for MICDS is the largest capital campaign in MICDS’ history—and not just in terms of dollars. The Campaign has spanned across the globe as alumni and donors from near and far have raised their hand in support of the School that has provided them so much. The Bold Action Campaign will soon come to a close on June 30. If you haven’t had a chance to be a part of this momentous Campaign, it’s not too late. We hope everyone will be inspired to contribute. Your gift—no matter the size—impacts not only our beautiful 100-acre campus, but most importantly the people who help make MICDS an incredible educational community where students prepare for lives of purpose and service.

Here is a list of testimonials we collected from around the world:

Janet Codding MI ’44 (California/Prescott, Arizona, per her friend and classmate Joyce McRoberts East), Prescott, Arizona: “Janet was so appreciative of being in a private school that gave her a really wonderful education. She felt Mary I gave her the opportunity to succeed, and that she gained so much more than education than she would have somewhere else.  So many of us went to Mary I and didn’t appreciate it until later but she knew it while she was there.”

Bill Wolff CDS ’43 (per his son, Gary Wolff CDS’68), St. Louis:

“William “Bill” Wolff treasures the memories and friendships that he made while attending St. Louis Country Day School in the 1940’s. By donating to the Assistance Beyond Tuition fund, he hopes that others may also enjoy the benefits of the excellent education and enriching experiences that he cherishes to this day.”

Erin Rataj ’92, St. Louis:

“When I think back to my years at MICDS, the thought of giving became a simple one. I vividly remember the hours and days our dedicated professors put into guiding and educating us to the best of their ability. Giving me and the other the students all a gift we could never replicate and could move forward to build and thrive upon. Based on their time and efforts, I have the ability to give back and help them and their children have the same educational opportunities provided to me.”

Spencer Desai CDS ’83, St. Louis:

“My family and I are happy to support the Bold Action Campaign. In order for MICDS to continue to fulfill its mission of providing superior educational opportunities to students, those students and the school’s outstanding facility must have first class facilities.   It’s exciting to see the transformation and growth of the campus as these improvements emerge. In addition, it’s important for MICDS to be able to provide financial aid to families so the school can be available to all deserving students.  The Annual Fund is the engine that drives this financial aid growth.”

Harlan Wallingford CDS’45 (per his son, Steve Wallingford):  

“Dean/Prof Harlan P. Wallingford (’45) chose to make a statement about helping students in financial need, to enable future MICDS students to benefit from the same opportunities he experienced as a CDS student, and to set an example for others to follow.  His lifelong commitment to education and supporting his students seemed to guide him during most of his adulthood. He prepared to leave this earth knowing that he had fulfilled his goal to support the school that prepared him for his life’s endeavors.”

Bill and Teresa Hutton CP, St. Louis:

“We see the direct impact of the MICDS faculty on our boys as they are challenged to learn and perform at higher levels and develop into responsible young men with good character and judgment.  In addition to outstanding facilities and excellent academic programs, MICDS must have resources available to recruit, retain and reward a best-in-class faculty. We selected the Tuition Benefit program for our contribution because we believe it is a valuable tool that directly supports the MICDS faculty and their important mission.”

Luke Johnson ’10, Chicago:

“I chose to support the Bold Action Campaign because of the great experiences that MICDS provided me during my time there as a student. I felt that it was important to honor Coach Holtman’s career through the completion of the Ron Holtman Stadium, as well as the other developments that will, no doubt, positively impact future students.”

Susan Howe Dubin ’67Greenwich, Connecticut:

“Four generations of my family have benefitted from an MICDS or predecessor school education. For this reason, I chose to support the Bold Action Campaign.  I directed my donation dollars to the Tuition Benefit for faculty recognizing that the ability to attract excellent teachers is imperative to maintain the quality of education offered by the school.”

Drew Flanigan ’03

“I was lucky enough to spend 14 years at MICDS and had a great experience.  I give in support of all the efforts to make it an even better place.”

Mike Burke ’92, Lausanne- Switzerland:

“One of the biggest contributors to my outstanding experience attending MICDS were my teachers.  Thank you all wherever you are now… Attracting great teachers is what makes MICDS an outstanding place of learning and my view is that the Tuition Benefit Fund plays a big part in recruiting great teachers to MICDS.”

Courtney (Creel) Blankenship ’89, Macomb, Illinois:

“I chose to give to the Annual Fund as a way to honor MICDS and its faculty; particularly the education I received, and the life skills I so value. As a professor in higher education, I see firsthand the importance of writing, presentation and research skills, and the ability to be a lifelong learner. These principles were fostered in me as a student at MICDS, and established my foundation for which I feel grateful on a daily basis.”

Warren Phillips ’05, New Haven, Connecticut:

“The MICDS community, particularly the athletic community, has had a tremendously positive impact on everyone in my family.  I’m thankful for the memories and opportunities I had as an MICDS student and I chose to support the development of the new athletic facilities because I get excited when I think about the experiences future generations will have in these venues.”

Cheryl and Dave Morley, parents of Alex ’07 and Samantha (Sami) Morley Ryan ’08, Kiawah Island, South Carolina:

“Our son and daughter are both graduates of MICDS.  We give to the annual fund because we are so grateful for the amazing, well-rounded education they received. They have wonderful memories and life long friends. MICDS is an institution so worth supporting!”

Margaret Despain Dunson ‘09 and currently MS Faculty Member:

“Having received so much from MICDS as a student, I’m happy to have the opportunity to give back. Annual support allows MICDS to innovate and adapt, making this an exceptional place to teach and learn!”

Peter K. Tao ‘75 and Past Parent & Trustee, St. Louis:

“I have supported MICDS, financially and through service, not because of nostalgia or tradition, but for the education, preparation, empathy and respect they have provided to my children, to me and my family.  In our ever changing society where there is increasingly polarized views, lack of respect or dialogue, education is so essential. MICDS remains devoted to teaching and preparing the MICDS students with the tools for the challenges of the present day and the next stages of their lives. You do not find this in many other schools. This is difficult to do and I don’t take it for granted, so I help in any way possible.”

Matthew R. Brooks ‘92, Minot AFB, North Dakota:

“I support MICDS because of the profound impact the faculty, coaches, and staff had on my personal growth and development.  They instilled confidence and encouraged me to go out into the world and try to make a difference.”

Bob Koplar ’98, St. Louis:

I gave to MICDS because the world-class education the school gave me prepared me for college and beyond, not only through academics but also through character. I have watched with pride as the school has evolved to become an even greater institution than the one I graduated from. MICDS is a very special place that I am proud to support!”

Edward Macias, St. Louis:

“Giving to MICDS is important to Tedi and me because we want to support the school which is providing our grandchildren with a wonderful education and strong love of learning.  We are so excited with the educational and extra-curricular opportunities that they have available to them. We are strongly supportive of the efforts of MICDS to foster a climate of inclusion and academic excellence.”

Michael Witte ’62 and Sally Schaum Witte ’66, Nyack, NY:

Our serendipitous MI-CDS union has included a happy 46-year marriage, three wonderful sons, their brilliant partners and two animated granddaughters; not to mention lives blessed with the opportunity to learn, create and give. How to return the favor? We donate to MICDS with deepest gratitude and without reservation.”

Stanley Yang ’94, Hong Kong, China:

“MICDS provided me with an exceptional education for which I am extremely grateful. It was also my friendships, life lessons, and memories gained during 9 years at the school that made it all the more meaningful.”

Jon and Sharon Williams, Current Parents, St. Louis:

“MICDS is an amazing partner in developing our three children. One can tour MICDS to see the academic and athletic facilities which are unrivaled just about anywhere else. We believe teaching our children at an early age to give back is an invaluable lesson.”

Mark Militello ‘80, Parent of Alum, Hong Kong, China:

MICDS provided a great academic, social, and athletic foundation to build upon, for college years and beyond. I was also the fortunate recipient of financial aid. After living in Asia for many years, we moved back to St Louis for six years during ours kids’ high school years—at MICDS, of course! We are closely linked with MICDS. My brother, Chris, also an alum, has taught Middle School history for twelve years. It’s only natural to financially support MICDS. To give to a Ron Holtman Fund made the decision that much easier.”

Rich and Stacey Liekweg, Current Parents, St. Louis:

We contributed to the Bold Action Campaign to support the wonderful mission of MICDS – to prepare our children for a global world with compassion, integrity, inclusiveness and purpose. Additionally, we contribute to the Annual Fund to help bridge the gap between the actual cost to fully provide for a student’s education and the annual tuition and fees.

Dietrich Brand ‘60, Alberta, Canada:  

“It is Sandy Sommer’s ‘60 fault that I am a faithful supporter of the MICDS Annual Fund. Had he not been such a gracious welcomer to a young German lad, had he not continued to demonstrate gentlemanly MICDS standards throughout school and during his life…well…I am just happy to say now—as a Canadian and still sitting Provincial judge—thank you, Sandy. Glad you had the exceptional fine taste to marry Jane and to acquire splendid land in Nova Scotia. Thank you, MICDS, for an outstanding North American start.”

Anne Carman, Parent of Alum, St. Louis:

“As a former teacher and professional fundraiser, I understand  both the need for private gifts and the challenge of obtaining them.  But my strongest reason for giving to the MICDS Annual Fund was my joy in seeing my grandchildren receive the best education possible. Our entire family enjoys the memories and consequences of an MICDS education.

Wayne Francis, Parent of Alum, St. Louis:

“As a parent of three alumni, my support of the Annual Fund and the Bold Action Campaign is reflective of the excellent education they benefited from as students of MICDS. The balance between academics, athletics and working collaboratively with the faculty and other students developed their sense of purpose to make a positive difference on a daily basis. Students present and future that follow on the path set forth benefit from the growth and enriched facilities that are offered. Philanthropically, it was and is a steadfast way to give back to the community that benefits all.”  

Jennifer and Matt Schuckman, Current Parents, St. Louis:

“As a former teacher and current administrator and parent, nothing is more important than supporting the outstanding faculty at MICDS. Their dedication, pedagogical skills, and promotion of student growth are second-to-none and we are deeply grateful for the impact it has made on our family. Supporting the Faculty Excellence Fund ensures that we will attract and retain high caliber faculty and continue to provide them with the very best in professional development opportunities.”