For Tom Tuthill ’68, giving back to his alma mater is about honoring the teachers who changed his life.
On the occasion of his 50th Reunion, Tuthill established a charitable gift annuity for Faculty Excellence at MICDS. He didn’t stop there; he then wrote a letter to his fellow classmates encouraging them to do the same.
“The greatest gift my parents gave me was my Country Day education. They didn’t think I was being challenged in the school across the street from our home, and in September 1962, my life changed because of the teachers at Country Day,” he wrote.
“My teachers—particularly in Math and Latin—taught me how to solve problems step-by-step and show my work. Mastering that process of breaking down a problem into doable parts has helped me in everything I’ve done since,” he later reflected.
In fact, he says, the enjoyment he had learning to dissect complicated sentences and conquer Algebra II inspired him to become a teacher. After graduating from Wesleyan University and Yale University, Tuthill spent 25 years teaching Latin in independent schools along the East Coast and at St. Louis Priory School.
“Much of what I did in my teaching career was my way of paying forward the wonderful teaching that I received at Country Day,” he told his classmates. “Our teachers were all very interesting people who kept challenging us to look at things in different ways and step outside the box and think—quite a radical idea in the 1960s,” he recalls.
When asked what he would say to inspire other alumni to make a planned gift to MICDS, Tuthill is quick to quote Winston Churchill: “’We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ We all want the best for our communities—whether our community of origin or our current community—and giving back is how we ensure the best for our communities.” In the end, the CDS Class of 1968 donated more than $1.1 million to their alma mater during their 50th Reunion—an amazing act of generosity!
Tuthill says a planned gift was the perfect fit for him since he doesn’t have a lot of assets. “I did, however, make an early investment in the stock of a St. Louis company. Last year, when that company was going to be sold and my stock holdings liquidated, I decided to give the funds to MICDS as a charitable gift annuity designated for endowment. This gift allowed me to receive more than double the return on the money that I had invested while helping to build the endowment of MICDS—a win for us all,” he wrote.
His gift to the Faculty Excellence Endowment supports the Faculty Apprenticeship Program as well as Tuition Benefit for the children of faculty and staff members who are enrolled at MICDS. The Faculty Excellence Fund was a priority of the Bold Action Campaign, and is still a key funding initiative for the School.