Endowment gifts provide the School with reliable investment earnings in perpetuity, while yielding an annual revenue stream that brings stability and creativity to each year’s needs. The principal of the endowment fund remains intact while the School draws a percentage of the interest income to offset operating expenditures. As the endowment grows, so do the funds available each year from the draw. This helps take pressure off the School’s annual operating budget — currently with a draw that is equal to about 6% of the yearly revenue total.
The endowment fund provides long-term security for the School while funding initiatives like professional development, academic programs, endowed chairs and financial aid. Built through a series of special campaigns, the establishment of restricted endowed funds, and significant class gifts, the endowment fund provides a solid basis of support for the School. This fund ensures that programming that makes Blake so unique and strong will always be secure.
The initiatives below represent the notable efforts established by alumni, parents and other friends to support teaching and learning at The Blake School. Your participation is invited and celebrated!
Endowment funds are invested in perpetuity. Only a portion of the earned income from these investments is used each year, preserving the underlying fund and future-earning potential.
The categories of the funds listed are:
Through the Distinguished Voices Series, The Blake School is able to maximize dollars dedicated to bringing guest speakers and artists to its campuses while fulfilling its donors’ intent in a meaningful and effective way. Gathering all speaker funds, dollars for artist residencies and symposia monies under one over-arching program also allows for:
- Greater school-wide access to and increased impact from guest speakers, visiting artists and other residencies
- More effective planning for these distinguished visitors to successfully integrate them into the School’s curricula
- Increased understanding of Blake’s mission and goals by interested parties outside the School’s walls
- Thoughtful and efficient use of the dollars available for outside presenters
The following funds are currently part of Blake’s Distinguished Voices Series:
Blake and Northrop Classes of 1955 Speaker Fund
In honor of their 40th class reunion, the Northrop and Blake classes of 1955 chose to join forces to create a lasting endowment to The Blake School. This annual speaker program gives Blake students, faculty and others in the School community the opportunity to be exposed to new voices, new ideas and new role models. The speaker selection is made according to the audience priorities of Blake students and faculty, parents and alumni and the general community. The type and number of speakers for this program is flexible. Each speaker visits the various campuses as appropriate and talks with large and small groups of students and faculty.
Since 1992, the School has sponsored an annual diversity symposium featuring a well-known local or national speaker to address various aspects of diversity. Blake strives to provide a forum for conversation about diversity and multicultural education that is accessible to the larger Twin Cities community. Through the Diversity Symposium, the School expands its educational environment beyond its four walls and heightens awareness of issues that impact our community. Blake recognizes that true learning takes place through exposure, interaction and building meaningful relationships with our surrounding communities.
*Currently, there is no dedicated fund connected to this annual presentation. The “distinguished voice” featured at the symposium helps illuminate a facet of Blake’s commitment to pluralism.
Albert Cobb Martin Memorial Lectures
Named for a 1939 Blake alumnus who died in 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge, the Martin Lecture series honored a hero who was (per an archived program,) "felled by enemy fire in a valiant attempt to rescue one of his men." The Martin Series was discontinued around the time of the merger; however, a modest endowed fund still remains.
McGuire Visiting Artist Program
Created by the McGuire family to promote arts education at Blake, the McGuire Visiting Artist Program brings an artist to The Blake School every year to work with students and faculty at each of the School's three campuses. Blake's art faculty selects the artist, with the approval of the Head of School. The annual residency generally includes: the artist meeting the art faculty and getting acquainted with the School; the artist working with students at each campus; the art faculty continuing the project or program initiated by the visiting artist; and, the artist returning to each campus for a follow-up visit. The visiting artist residency generally culminates in a permanent art installation or final performance.
Philip Otis Environmental Author Program
Established in 1996 to honor the memory of Phil Otis, the program brings a prominent author who writes about environmental issues to The Blake School. The author spends two to three days at Blake, meeting with students, faculty and other members of the community in various settings to promote a greater awareness of the environmental issues that were important to Phil. Students and faculty prepare for the biennial residency by reading works of the author and by participating in other related activities, such as field trips and lectures by local environmentalists.
Michael Kim Shulman Memorial Speaker Fund
The Shulman Symposium is presented in memory of Michael Kim Shulman, who attended Blake from sixth grade until his sophomore year in 1987, when he collapsed and died from heart failure of unexplained origin and cause. The Shulman Symposium is designed as an opportunity for Upper School students to hear an extraordinary motivational speaker.
Steiner Lecture Series
The Steiner Family Lecture Series Fund is a living memorial honoring the lives of two individuals who made great contributions to Blake. George Steiner ‘31 served on the Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1972. His son, Robin Steiner, sat on the board from 1988 to 1993. The Steiner Lecture is an annual event delivered to the entire Upper School community. The objective is to provoke thought and discussion around real world issues within Upper School classrooms and the homes of Blake families.