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Living and Leaving Legacy

Malcolm and Caroline Rhodes
Malcolm, current President of the Board of Trustees, and Caroline are parents of McNair '09 and Molly '10

Can you describe the impact Ashley Hall had on your daughters?

As we watched the Christmas Play, we saw a group of young women who exuded confidence. They had been challenged to step out of their comfortable roles and put themselves in public, singing, acting and saying lines. Afterwards, they were visiting and hugging and being joyful as a school. The littlest angel was as important as the Senior soloist! These are the same girls/women who we also know on the sports fields, and in leadership roles (clubs and student governance), and for their academic achievements. An Ashley hall girl is challenged to push her bounds, striving for academic, leadership and athletic prowess. These women are able to carry on conversations, assess challenges and confidently deport themselves once they leave Ashley Hall.

Ashley Hall was a good home away from home for our daughters. They had wonderful friends, teachers who loved them, and were challenged to get out of their comfort zones. Both McNair and Molly were given opportunities to excel in things that they loved as well as explore new subjects and become involved in leadership within the community of the school. We believe that Ashley Hall helped instill the beliefs that we as parents had in our children and encouraged them to be confident just as we did, but through different eyes. Ashley Hall rewarded the girls when things went well and stood by them when things did not go so well. Ashley Hall introduced our daughters to a world that they were excited about entering once they graduated from Ashley Hall.

What inspired you to give a major gift to the Create Our Future Endowment Campaign?

Public schools have the ability to increase taxes for funding or to receive sales tax revenue (1% for schools) for capital expenses. Ashley Hall does not have this luxury for continuing educational programs or maintaining a beautiful, historic campus that requires continuous upkeep. Ashley Hall, the campus, is a gem, but a gem that must be polished to maintain its luster. Ashley Hall, the school, is a vibrant, living, constantly changing body. Tuition does not cover the costs of maintenance and program. An endowment serves to bridge this gap and adds stability to all that Ashley Hall has been, is now, and will be in the next century.

By giving to the endowment, we are helping to assure that Ashley Hall can continue to be a safe, nurturing, challenging environment to provide the finest academic and educational experience for the next generations of women. We believe that the endowment represents the faith that former students, parents, and others have in the heart of Ashley hall, its mission and its purpose. We believe that those who are able to and are passionate about the future of Ashley Hall should make a commitment to the future of Ashley Hall. We were in a position to be able to do this and are privileged to be a part of what we hope becomes a solid strong foundation for Ashley Hall.

What is the legacy at Ashley Hall that you would like to leave for the future generations of young women in your family?

We want Ashley Hall to have the financial footing to preserve her campus, provide the finest academic and experiential educational opportunities, and continue to produce morally grounded, confident and intelligent young women. Our hope is the graduates of Ashley Hall twenty years form now will be able to say they were taught, challenged, nurtured and loved in the same way our daughters were, with a classic education and that they leave Ashley Hall wanting to give back to their school, with a passion for Ashley Hall that will be there forever.

More Spotlight on the Campaign