John F. Gaebler FR’71 CN’05P CN’12P
2011-12, 2012-13 Annual Fund Chair
Greetings from the great city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From deep in America’s heartland, I write to enlist your support for an educational treasure, School Year Abroad. Each year, SYA enables more than 260 students to discover the world and themselves. This can only happen with generous support from alumni, parents and other good friends like you.
Little has given me so much as SYA. Forty-one years ago, a scholarship boy, I set off for a year of discovery and high adventure in Brittany. Marvelous, memorable teachers and staff engaged and challenged us in school. Away from school, my incredible French family opened the door to a new world and new perspectives. With my French brothers, I enjoyed a hearty diet of fun and escapades. Looking back, I see that year in Rennes was the most enriching and liberating of many school years. I think just about every SYA alumnus feels the same way. Seven years ago, our oldest had a fabulous year in China with a wonderful, generous Chinese family and exceptional SYA faculty and staff. This past September, our youngest set off for his SYA adventure. As he boarded the plane, bound for Beijing, I was filled with wistful envy.
In only its 48th year, SYA does not yet have a sustaining endowment. (We now count nearly 7,000 alumni. With many of us fast approaching our dotage, a meaningful endowment is, I hope, not too distant.) In the meantime, the Annual Fund is that much more important, providing approximately 8% of last year’s operating budget. SYA relies on supporters like you to maintain a healthy Annual Fund, which supports financial aid, student travel, extracurricular programs as well as professional development opportunities for faculty.
Many causes and organizations clamor for our support. Few are so deserving as SYA. Please join me in making a generous gift. Let’s keep SYA exceptional.