After 8 Years, Pete Olney Retires as Board President

After eight years as president of the Middlesex School Board of Trustees, Pete Olney ‘66 will step down this summer, succeeded by Stephen Lari ‘90.  A past parent to two Middlesex alumni, Austin ‘00 and Warwick ‘00, Olney has served the School in myriad ways, from his work as a class agent to his leadership on the Parents’ Committee. On the Board, he was instrumental to the Board’s strategic planning efforts in 2002, 2007, and 2014, as well as to the on-going work of the Steering Committee for MX2: The Campaign for Middlesex.  Olney chaired the Finance and Budget Committee for several years and provided critical leadership during the 2008-2009 financial turbulence and its aftermath.  During his tenure as Board president, Pete has directed the Board’s attention to critical financial and physical infrastructure issues; the School’s pension plan, deferred maintenance, campus planning, and financial planning and strategy have all benefitted from the energy and insight Pete brings to his work for Middlesex.

As he completes his tenure as Board president, Pete can look with pride at the multiple efforts underway to improve and strengthen the School.  Several important dorm renovation projects have been accomplished or are underway, including Robert Winsor, LeBaron Briggs, and Clay Houses . Olney can also be credited with helping make possible exciting work to come in the form of a new dormitory, Landry House; the School’s first real home for music in the transformed steam plant; and a complete overhaul of its arts facilities. Under Olney’s leadership, the School has made important progress in faculty compensation and has embarked on a new financial aid initiative.  The School’s endowment is at an all-time high; having rebounded well since 2009, it is now approaching $140 million.  While Olney’s strong and loyal leadership is evident in the history of the last eight years at Middlesex, Olney considers the developments collaborative efforts, not only with the current school administrators and faculty, but also with his fellow trustees. As he passes the responsibility of the presidency to Stephen Lari ‘90, Olney will carry on the tradition, providing advice and help as needed to ensure that the Board will maintain the progress and stability it developed under his tenure.

Stephen Lari ‘90 had also served Middlesex in several different capacities before joining the Board in 2008. He was a class agent, reunion chair, and member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors before being elected to serve as a trustee.  Lari’s work on the Board includes chairing the Finance and Budget Committee and serving on the Campaign Steering Committee. His professional expertise as a leader in international real estate development will provide valuable insight and experience for the upcoming renovations and campus construction projects outlined in the Mx2 Campaign, which Lari has had a significant role in bringing to fruition.

Lari’s presidency is historic, as he is the first Board president to have attended Middlesex after it became a coeducational institution. Well-respected by his classmates and fellow trustees, Lari is eager to continue and deepen his involvement with Middlesex, and we look forward to welcoming his thoughtful leadership as the next Board president.