Matching Challenge Raises $15 Million Toward Residential Life

Middlesex School is proud to announce the completion of the Residential Life Challenge, and the culmination of the Residential Life portion of the Mx2 Campaign.

Once again, forward-thinking alumnus and former Trustee Victor Atkins ‘63 initiated a matching challenge, this time toward Residential Life, offering to match dollar for dollar any gifts to residential life up to $7.5 million. The donor’s intention was clear: dramatically enhance the residential life experience on campus and achieve the school’s long term residential life planning goals. At the start of Mx2, the Trustees identified the availability and quality of student housing as a critical need. Even as the size and composition of the School has changed, the School’s commitment to a deep, rich residential experience has not. The Mx2 Campaign’s residential life goals were to increase the availability of boarding rooms for the current and future student body, and ensure that every dorm offered an inviting and central  common area for students to enjoy. The renovation of LeBaron Briggs, Robert Winsor and Clay Houses create living spaces for students and faculty that enhance the overall Middlesex experience.

Through the generosity of twenty-four Middlesex families, two key reunion classes, and the matching funds furnished by Victor Atkins, the residential life portion of the campus master plan is nearly complete. After careful planning and consideration of the original Olmsted Brothers’ design for the campus, construction will commence in Fall 2015 on the newest Middlesex dormitory, Landry House. Named in honor of the late C. Kevin Landry ‘62, Middlesex alumnus, parent, longtime Board treasurer and generous benefactor of the School, Landry House will add thirty-six more beds to our campus boarding capacity, and will be open for student occupancy in the Fall of 2016. The three new faculty residences within Landry House will continue the tradition of tight-knit community relationships between students and faculty families that live among them. As a partner to Clay House across the front drive, Landry House will, in many senses, “complete the Circle” of campus.

The renderings for Landry House, a new residence hall planned next to Higginson House, across the driveway from Clay.

The renderings for Landry House, a new residence hall planned next to Higginson House, across the driveway from Clay.

In a fitting memorial, Kevin’s widow, Barrie, and his daughters, Kim ‘89, and Jen ‘94 made a milestone gift toward the dorm, which was matched by the Residential Life Challenge to begin plans for the dorm on the beautiful hillside next to Higginson House. Kevin’s classmates from the class of 1962 rallied together for their 50th reunion to garner funds for a signature common room within the new dorm, that celebrates their classmate’s love of community and camaraderie. A year later, Kim Landry ‘89 and her classmates funded their 25th reunion project toward Landry House-- the 1989 Commons-- a recreation room for students that also captures Kevin Landry’s joy and sense of fun.

Renovations to Clay House include a central entrance, as well as additional housing for students and faculty.

Renovations to Clay House include a central entrance, as well as additional housing for students and faculty.

The $15 million Residential Life Challenge will have a tremendous impact on the residential experience of Middlesex students, offering new opportunities for personal, academic, and emotional growth. The common rooms, rec rooms, faculty apartments, and study spaces named by the generous donors will serve as daily reminders of the value of community for the students who live, learn, and grow in these dorms for years to come. During this past Alumni Weekend, we announced a wonderful surprise-- Tony Woods ‘90 and his wife Cornelia on behalf of the 25th reunion class of 1990 announced that the new Clay House Common room will be named in honor of longtime faculty members Jim and Carmen Beaton P’98’01, in apt timing for the celebration of Jim’s retirement after 35 years of service to Middlesex as a teacher, dorm parent, and coach.  A few naming opportunities within the updated residences remain-- for more information on giving to Residential Life, please contact Heather Parker or George Noble in the Development Office at 978-369-5110.

We are tremendously grateful for all those whose generosity has made the completion of our Residential Life Challenge, the construction of Landry House, and the renovation of our existing dormitories a reality. Having solidified the pillars of residential life at Middlesex, we now turn our focus to the next strategic priorities of Mx2: the Arts and our endowments for financial aid and faculty compensation. We hope that you will join us in these efforts.