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The Evanston Township High School Educational Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary with an Evening of Appreciation on March 7 to thank alumni, parents and friends who support the Foundation in its mission to provide access to excellence for all students.
ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon welcomed more than 100 supporters to the school’s main lobby, where they enjoyed food, refreshments and live student musical performances. Guests had the opportunity to experience the impact of their support during guided tours where students worked on projects in the new ceramics studio and rehearsed in the four music rooms (choir, orchestra, band and jazz) with new sound-panels for improved acoustics.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Witherspoon reflected on the Foundation’s history of fundraising for capital improvements that maintain the integrity of the school building. Located at 1600 Dodge Ave. and constructed in 1923 and 1924, the building currently measures 1.3 million square feet.
“The Foundation provided a way to raise additional support to take a building that was well kept, but looking tired, and make it a cutting edge, dynamic, vibrant school facility for the 21st century,” said Dr. Witherspoon.
“You made that possible,” Dr. Witherspoon told the Foundation donors and friends gathered for the event. He marked the occasion with the announcement of a $1.2 million gift from Leonard Schaeffer (ETHS ’63), targeted for a new Chem-Phys complex, including state-of-the-art labs and Theory “Research” Center, which will provide all ETHS students with a new space intended for introspection, study and learning.
Foundation Executive Director Joanne Bertsche highlighted one of the Foundation’s latest projects, renovation of a Chem/Phys lab, made possible by a gift from Henry and Laurie Wiss Latimer (ETHS ’81) and contributions from participants in a recent Chem-Phys reunion.
Ms. Bertsche also provided an update on projects that will be completed over the next two summers, including building an accessible and welcoming entranceway to the gym building, enhanced rehearsal space in the Upstairs Theatre, an expanded greenhouse and a new engineering classroom.
Local education foundations, whose grants provide K-12 funding beyond taxpayer dollars, have hit a new high, holding more than $539 million in assets and raising nearly $400 million, according to Michele Molnar, Associate Editor of EdWeek Market Brief.
ETHS alumni, parents, and the larger community have demonstrated their confidence in the Foundation’s commitment to serving today’s students. To date, the Foundation has provided more than $4.5 million in support for capital improvements and scholarships.