Prioritizing the Future of Our Community

Prioritizing the Future of Our Community

Alumni gifts to financial aid endowment make a Govs education more accessible for bright, talented students

There’s no doubt that 2020 was a year fraught with valuable lessons, among them the power of courage and collaboration to bring about positive change. But at Govs, those values had been embraced much earlier with the launch of With True Courage, The Campaign for Governor’s — particularly the goal of raising $15 million in financial aid endowment. 

Of that campaign pillar, Head of School Peter H. Quimby, Ph.D. ‘85, P’14, a financial aid recipient himself, says "We look to enroll students who are committed to academic excellence, engaged in their community, and interested in a variety of extra-curricular activities regardless of their ability to afford a Governor's education. Students like these make our campus an extraordinary place! No priority is more important than making a Govs education possible for exceptionally talented and deserving students."

“The beautiful thing about an endowed fund in support of financial aid is its permanence, so this initiative demonstrates a true commitment by Govs to establish a lasting funding source for financial aid,” says Director of Advancement Leslie Dickey. “The continued investment allows us to attract and enroll exceptionally gifted and deserving students from everywhere, from all backgrounds, and at all levels of need. But it also diversifies the Academy’s financial position. It’s a win-win on so many levels.”

Though the magnitude of the initiative is new to Govs, it’s necessary. Roughly one-third of Governor’s students rely on financial aid, and the Academy distributes more than $5 million in aid each year despite having a significantly smaller endowment than peer schools. Economic and demographic forecasts suggest that both numbers will continue to rise. Between 2012 and 2020, the cost of supporting need-based financial aid at Govs, for example, nearly doubled.

The challenge of boosting the financial aid endowment inspired trustee Paul Nardone ‘86, P’19 to be a major donor of that campaign pillar. In fact, it played into his entrepreneurial mindset to invest in and develop ideas for long-term success. Throughout his career in the natural food and beverage industry, Nardone has led a number of successful food and beverage companies including PopCorners, which was bought by PepsiCo in 2019.

 

Paul ’86, Trustee, and Laura Nardone P’19

 

“I came to GDA thanks to financial aid, and found Govs to be a challenging environment that stretched me to try new things and take risks. My Govs experience built my foundation and, importantly, my confidence which helped me succeed in college and beyond,” says Nardone, who grew up in Revere, Massachusetts. “Now I’m thrilled to be in a position to give back; it’s truly a gift. I feel fortunate to be in a position to help the next generation of Governor’s students experience the true meaning of the school’s motto Non Sibi Sed Aliis — not for self, but for others. Thanks to my Govs experience, that motto is something that I truly believe in and try to live by." In addition to establishing The Paul '86 and Laura Nardone P'19 Scholarship Fund, the Nardone's made a significant gift to renovate the Alumni Gym.

Rob DeLena ‘87, P’21, who shares the same hometown as Nardone, also shares the sentiment of paying it forward, establishing The Robert ’87, Abigail ’21, and Mary Beth DeLena P’21 Scholarship Fund.

“I never thought I would be able to attend Govs until we received my acceptance and financial aid package,” he recalls of receiving a total of $100,000 over five years. “My life was forever altered by my time in Byfield; I matured socially and went from being terrified to speak in class to serving as Academy President in my senior year. Most importantly, I graduated with great friends who ranged in socioeconomic class and came to Govs with varying life experiences; but each taught me so much. I owed a debt to Govs.”

 

Abby DeLena ’21 and her father, Rob DeLena ’87, P’21

 

And that is something he has not forgotten, even after he went on to found what has become one of the most successful legal placement consultants in the country. “It might sound silly, but I am a goal-oriented person and needed a target to shoot for, so the scholarship that my wife and I recently funded is my way of settling that debt, repaying every dollar of financial aid that I received from 1983 to 1987.”

Andrew “Bug” Carper ‘14 and his father Don Carper P’14 also established an endowed financial aid scholarship that reflects personal experience. The 8 Scholarship Fund is targeted at supporting athletes.

Bug Carper ’14 in jersey #18 from his days on Govs varsity lacrosse team

 

“I always loved sports, and my goal was to play lacrosse in college,” says Carper, who played lacrosse and football at Govs. “Being able to surround myself with teammates who were achieving that helped me not only develop as a player but get exposure to college recruiters. I had no choice but to get better.”

Carper went on to play lacrosse at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earn a degree in economics. “Being at Govs opened up doors for me, and I want to give others that same opportunity,” he says. The Carper family has a history of supporting the Govs athletics program, but decided to establish a scholarship in 2021. “It’s not just about how great a player you are, it’s about who can see how great a player you are. Getting that kind of exposure can be life-changing.”

DeLena agrees. “I still owe tons of interest to Govs,” he jokes of paying back the financial aid he received as a student. But he is serious about that commitment. “I will work to pay that off next because by doing so, I will change the life trajectory of future students.”

"Each endowed scholarship fund creates a new, permanent resource for financial aid awards. It's a powerful act of philanthropy that renews itself annually,” says Quimby. “I am personally grateful for the generosity of those in our community who, through their gifts to endowment for financial aid, are giving exemplary students access to a Governor's education and helping to shape our school's future."