Berkeley Receives Major Gifts to Surpass $50 Million Mark in Current Campaign

As Berkeley Preparatory School begins a new school year, it does so having moved well past the $50 million mark during its current capital campaign, Above & Beyond: The Campaign for Berkeley Preparatory School. The vital resources generously donated by hundreds of donors have already been used to transform the campus at 4811 Kelly Road to create over 150,000 additional square feet under roof, and, most recently, resulting in an ambitious renovation effort of existing spaces, ready in time for the beginning of school.
Bob Gries, Jr., a Berkeley parent and trustee, who had previously provided the inspirational lead gift for Berkeley’s leading-edge arts and sciences building, challenged the Berkeley community to again step forward to support the campaign, agreeing to match dollar-for-dollar all new pledges up to $2 million.
The Berkeley community met that challenge thanks to many parents, alumni and friends who made pledges and gifts to the school. The effort, tabbed as the “Renovate to Innovate” segment of the overall campaign, sought funds to help the school move forward with a repurposing effort to fully modernize the school’s Middle and Upper Division classrooms and learning spaces.
“Bob has played an integral part in generously supporting Berkeley Preparatory School during this campaign. He is a true leader who sets the bar high for others to follow, which can be seen through the challenge he put forth to our community and in his game-changing support of the Gries Center for the Arts and Sciences,” said Berkeley’s Headmaster Joseph Seivold.
Every member of Berkeley’s Board of Trustees, comprised of Berkeley parents, alumni and alumni parents, helped meet the challenge by stepping forward to pledge a gift to “Renovate to Innovate,” even while having already supported prior phases of the Above & Beyond campaign. The school community followed their lead and now Berkeley administrators are prepared to open new classrooms and learning spaces just in time for the 2016-17 school year.
Over the summer, two additional gifts made a significant impact on the campaign’s progress. The Straz Family (The Honorable David Straz, Jr., his wife Catherine and their daughter Keebler ’14), who had already donated the lead gift in support of the Straz Family Field House, made an additional major gift to the campaign and, in recognition of their generosity, Berkeley was honored to name the Straz Family Arts Center and Gallery located within the Gries Center for the Arts and Sciences. In addition, Berkeley recently received a seven-figure gift from the Doyle Family. The school was honored to recognize this well-known philanthropic family by naming the Doyle Family Technology Commons.
Since its launch in 2010, the Above & Beyond campaign has raised millions of dollars in an effort to make Berkeley’s Board-approved Master Plan a reality. These gifts have resulted in the completion of the Straz Family Field House, the Touchton Family Clock Tower and the Quad, the Berkeley Café, the Doyle Technology Commons, and the Gries Center for the Arts and Sciences. The school intends to renovate tens of thousands of square feet, including its Middle and Upper Division Library. Berkeley continues to fundraise for the campaign to complete the Master Plan, which includes significant additional renovation efforts and the construction of an Early Childhood Education Center, as well as a chapel and alumni center.


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