It is great having everyone back on campus and we are fully immersed in the winter term. We were joined on campus today by Mark Shriver, author of our community text (A Good Man). Mark spoke at chapel about his father's dedication to service (helping found the Peace Corps) and about empathy, faith, and love. We thank Mark for joining us and Jim Shay P'18 for helping arrange his visit.
This Saturday (January 14) we will have a program for parents of eleventh graders about the college search process (www.suffieldacademy.org/college
). In addition to learning more about how our college counselors support students and families, parents will hear from admission officers from New York University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, University of Richmond, and Wesleyan University. Most of our eleventh graders will take the SAT on January 21 and all juniors are now in the middle of the College 101 program, an integral part of our Leadership curriculum. This course provides an overview of several important areas: the college counseling process at Suffield, options for standardized test preparation and the differences between the SAT and the ACT, identifying the right college fit, shaping a college list, and writing effective application essays.
Other January events will include a student-led chapel honoring the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday coordinated by members of our Multicultural Association and faculty member Liz Warren. The focus will be on labels, stereotypes, and perspectives on the civil rights movement from those with first-hand experiences. Our senior speaker series will resume on January 23, and Regional Studies history projects will be displayed on the evenings of January 30 and 31. The winter midterm closes on Friday, January 27 and progress reports will be sent to parents electronically during the following week.
Campus construction is again underway with Brodie Hall, which will be a dormitory and restoration of a historic barn. This project is an important step in our campus master plan. It will serve as a space for temporary classrooms during the 2017-2018 academic year, when we intend to commence with an extensive renovation and expansion of Memorial Building. You can learn more about these projects at www.suffieldacademy.org/masterplan
. I am pleased to report fundraising is moving along well and we have remarkably invested more than $60 million raised through giving into enhancements and renewal of Suffield's campus over the past decade.
As we look to the spring, I wanted to note that the 2017-2018 academic calendar and reenrollment contracts for returning students will be mailed from Suffield during the first week of February. As I will mention in the cover letter accompanying the calendar, our 2017 Commencement speaker will be Bill Burke P'13, '15, '17, '19. Bill is Chief Operating Officer and President of Jarden Group at Newell Brands. Prior to taking on this role when Newell and Jarden combined in 2015, Bill was Chief Operating Officer of Newell Rubbermaid. Cindy Burke, Bill's wife, is on Suffield's Board of Trustees. Bill's interesting professional background and long friendship with Suffield make him well suited for this important role in our 2017 graduation ceremonies.
In closing, I want to mention that our admissions office is very busy as the applicant pool for next year takes shape. More than 100 students are interviewing just this week as the first-round application deadline approaches. It looks like we will again have around 1,000 students applying for 130 available spaces. For good reason, our school is in strong demand. I am confident this is a result of Suffield's philosophy—blending rigor with encouragement—as well as our excellent faculty and facilities, and the warmth and spirit of our community.
Hillary and I send best wishes for the new year.