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Boston Latin School Association Launches $50 Million Campaign for the Nation's First Public School

Funds will deepen student learning in STEM, classical studies, and global engagement

Boston, Mass. – The Boston Latin School Association (BLSA) has launched a five-year, $50 million fundraising campaign to support the nation’s first public school.

Prima Perpetua – Latin for “Forever First” – aims to strengthen Boston Latin School’s rigorous college preparatory education to equip students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.

The campaign will provide funding in five major areas, aligned to the school’s new strategic plan:

  • STEM Initiatives
  • Global Understanding and Learning Opportunities
  • Liberal Arts Foundations
  • Engaged Citizenship and Experiential Learning
  • Athletics and Wellness

The campaign, which is scheduled to run through 2017, kicked off its public phase with an inaugural gala at the Seaport Boston Hotel on Saturday. Campaign co-chairs Michael A. Leven ’55 and Charles I. Clough Jr. ’60, announced that the campaign already has raised more than $27 million in gifts and pledged commitments and is supporting new and expanded initiatives at the school.

“We are proud to make investments that provide current and future Boston Latin School scholars with a world-class education,” said Leven. “These vital initiatives help ensure that all of our students are immersed in well-rounded experiences inside and outside of the classroom.”

Clough said, “By developing the next generation of scholars and leaders, we are investing in the future of our city and our nation. Every day, Boston Latin School students are cultivating the knowledge, skills and passion to achieve excellence in college and throughout their lives.”

“Our students and staff already have begun to benefit from our benefactors’ generosity,” said BLS Head Master Dr. Lynne Mooney Teta. She noted that new funding has made possible the launch of the Clough Center for Global Understanding, which enables students and faculty to travel internationally for global experiences in academics and community service, as well as providing teachers professional development in global studies across the curriculum. This spring, faculty and students will travel to China to participate in the prestigious Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition. Other funds provided through the center support student travel to Eastern Europe to study Holocaust history and to the Virgin Islands to examine the effects of climate change on coral reefs.

Officials stated that the campaign’s STEM funding will support professional development for faculty, student extra-curricular activities, and capital investments in state-of-the-art science laboratories. A sustainable roofscape and community learning center would provide for on-site environmental studies as well as a rich opportunity for data collection for use in all science disciplines.

To provide students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts, additional funding will strengthen the school’s “contemporary classical education,” including investments in visual and performing art facilities enhancements, new instructional materials, professional development, and extra-curricular activities in the humanities.

Other initiatives funded by the campaign include private employment of the full-time Leven Director of Athletics (a first-of-its-kind position funded by Leven), additional athletic opportunities for younger students, and school-wide wellness programs. The Prima Perpetua Campaign will fund student activities that provide opportunities for co-curricular experiences beyond the classroom, such as summer fellowships and programs in leadership, innovation and community service, as well as expanded counseling resources for BLS students and families.

Boston Latin School is a six-year college preparatory exam school that fosters the pursuit of excellence through a rigorous academic program in the classical tradition. Founded in 1635, Boston Latin School is the oldest public school in America and has graduated, among many others, five signers of the Declaration of Independence and four presidents of Harvard College, as well as countless other political and business leaders for nearly four centuries.

For more information about Prima Perpetua: The Campaign for Boston Latin School, visit primaperpetua.org.

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