Herbert Allen Family Donations Benefit Prep School

In the midst of an economic downturn, private prep schools throughout the country are relying on endowment funds to meet the rising costs of providing a stellar education to their students.

At Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country, the administration spent $63,500 per student in 2008. Tuition, room, and board cost $36,500 for the same year. So, the school looked to its endowment fund, which grew from $500 million to over $1 billion in roughly six years, to meet the difference. The growth was due to thriving investments, along with alumni donations. Donations range from money given to establish scholarship funds, to anonymous donations, to funds for a new building.

At Hackley School, in Tarrytown, New York, one donation will create a big impact. Herbert Allen, a successful investor, and father of Herbert A Allen (class of ’58), served as a trustee of the school for 37 years, and honorary trustee for an additional six years until his death in 1997. In late 2012, his wife Ethel Allen donated three paintings from their personal collection to the school. These paintings, by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, brought in over $45 million at an auction by Christie’s.

Allen helped the school through its financial woes in the 1950s, and is responsible for the creation of the Allen Pool, Kathleen Allen Lower School, and faculty homes in Allen’s Alley throughout the years. The school’s Centennial Campaign was able to fundraise $50 million, $10 million of which was provided by Herbert A. Allen, and expanded the school’s property, academic programs, and financial aid offerings.

With an additional $45 million, the school recognizes they have a deep responsibility to further elevate Hackley’s name, and provide the best, comprehensive education to their students. As Headmaster Walter C. Johnson wrote in the Hackley Review,

“Hackley School bears an extraordinary responsibility, not only to our parents and students, but to our country, now and in the future…The educational opportunity Hackley and its peers offer is not available to most students in the United States, and as such, it represents a precious societal resource, an investment in our collective future more important than any other.”

Sources: New York Times, Hackley School