This article was originally published in the spring 2013 Harker Quarterly.
From the moment donors set foot on the recently acquired Union Avenue property, they knew they had made the right choice in supporting the historic purchase of the new campus, helping to ensure Harker’s future for generations to come.
“It already feels like home,” was an oft-repeated sentiment among the select groups of donors who enjoyed two recent separate viewings of the site – home to Harker’s soon-to-be-launched preschool and future location of its lower school.
Before much construction got under way, the advancement department treated the campaign supporters to “sneak peeks” of the beautiful new campus, as a way to say “thank you” and celebrate their giving to the capital campaign, which helped fund the purchase.
The first campus tour, held Feb. 7, was for major, visionary benefactors, while the second, on Feb. 25, was attended by donors who had given to Phase IV of the capital campaign.
After enjoying lunch and a campus update on plans for the space, donors took a tour through the buildings, roamed the grounds and had an opportunity to have all their questions answered. The tour included many interesting and heartwarming sites, including a state-of-the-art cafeteria, hand-painted tiles and assorted play structures. Left behind in the art room on an old chalkboard was a quote from B.B. King which read, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
John Keller (Devin, grade 5; Haley, grade 7; Johnathon, grade 9; Michael ’07), a major benefactor to the capital campaign, said that for him giving is all about the students. “At the end of the day, it goes back to the kids. And our kids are the most important thing we have,” he said.
Calling the Union property a “knock-out,” he added that “looking into the future this could be my favorite campus.”
Donor Jeff Rothschild said that even though his son, Isaac, is a junior who will soon graduate from Harker, he believes funding the new campus is an opportunity to “pay it forward.” Rothschild, a new member of the Board of Fellows, said he feels fortunate for his son to be enjoying the upper school campus facilities that others helped fund and is now thrilled to be a part of “this wonderful new opportunity” to do the same with the Union property.
Following the special donor tours, early March saw two more sneak peeks, one for Harker faculty and staff and the other for Harker families. Finally, about 100 attendees enjoyed the popular annual alumni Easter egg hunt, which was held on the morning of March 23 on the new Union campus.
During that event the sounds of laughing children filled the air, even as several buildings and some of the grounds were in various states of remodeling, serving as a reminder that this beautiful new site is quickly becoming an important part of the Harker community.