Page 18 - Menlo Magazine Summer 2019
P. 18

perpetuity, I’m even more confident we’ll always be able to admit kids who will add to our academic, arts, and athletics programs and whom Menlo will propel forward to find their potential regardless of their family’s ability to pay tuition.”
According to Chief Development Officer Alex Tenorio, growth in endowed financial aid not only helps meet an increased need but also better safeguards the School and its students.
“Menlo’s financial aid program has really been held together through the generosity toward our spring auction, Annual Fund, and AESF,” Tenorio said. “Those programs have been wonderfully successful. However, a dip over
one or two years could really damage our ability to stay competitive in admitting great kids who just happen to need financial aid. The Centennial Scholars Initiative will help make this a promise we can always keep.”
The initiative is a key component of the Menlo Centennial Campaign, which seeks to elevate Menlo’s position
as a leading independent school by both completing
its long-standing plans for facilities on the central campus and meaningfully growing the endowment
to ensure financial sustainability for the long term.
Since the inception of the campaign, the Centennial Scholars Initiative has been the most meaningful contributor to the School’s endowment—which is projected to double in size between 2015
and 2020.
Implementation of the program will be led by Menlo’s Chief of Institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Keith Wheeler. Wheeler joined Menlo in late 2018 after many years in school leadership throughout California, including a key role with the Palo Alto Unified School District. He has seen firsthand the pressure that the rising costs of living on the Peninsula can put on families.
“Many students, when forced to choose between their family paying rent and buying food or paying for tuition and books, might give up on their dreams of a great education,” Wheeler explained. “We need to make a commitment to these students that if they believe in themselves, we will believe in them and give them the

   16   17   18   19   20