Board of Governors Considers New Initiatives


Sea Phongsphetrarat ’23

The Board of Governors presented Ned Nunes ’73 with the Alumni Award in a ceremony last Friday.

Renovating Memorial Hall and Walker Auditorium and increasing the financial aid endowment were among the initiatives the Board of Governors discussed this past weekend. On October 18 and 19, the Board visited campus for its annual fall meeting.
The 25 members of the Board of Governors form the executive board of the Alumni Association. It is a diverse body responsible for connecting students with alumni through networking. The Board also selects the annual recipient of the Alumni Award and Community Service Award. The Board of Governors strives to serve its members and to advance a lifelong love of learning, responsible citizenship, and personal integrity.
The board works closely with the Alumni and Development Office and is looking to collaborate more closely with the Board of Trustees in the future. Mr. Tom Seidenstein ’91, the president of the Board of Governors, stated, “Every few years, it is important for us to re-examine our ongoing efforts and find new ways to generate momentum behind the Alumni Association’s efforts. These may require some shifting our current committee structure and adapting to the evolving needs of our alumni community.”
During its fall meeting, the Board of Governors attended the Alumni Award ceremony and dinner, heard from the Board of Trustees’ co-presidents, and met with Mr. Steven McKibben, dean of community life, to gain a clearer understanding of his role. Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, also spoke to them about major ongoing efforts such as the Day of Service and considered new initiatives for the future.
The school’s current capital initiatives include increasing financial aid endowment and renovating Memorial Hall and Walker Auditorium. By 2028, the school would like to raise the percentage of students receiving financial aid from 33 to 51 percent.
A study conducted in 2017-2018 by the market-research firm Stamats gathered data from students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and prospective families. It showed that constituents across those groups gave the lowest possible ranking to Hotchkiss in terms of affordability and cost.
Since highly talented candidates may be unable to attend the school due to financial reasons, the quality of the student body may be at risk. Therefore, the school’s goals aim towards providing quality education to a more diverse group of talented students while also remaining relevant among elite competing schools. Billy Meneses ’22 said, “One of the changes that really affects me is the change in financial aid, because I [rely on] financial aid. I understand how helpful Hotchkiss is in helping me go to a school that I would have never been able to attend otherwise. There are so many other boarding schools that do offer a higher financial aid percentage. So I think that it is great we will be able to accept a more diverse, accomplished group of students into the school.”
Renovating Walker Auditorium and Memorial Hall will also help improve community and residential life, enriching the student experience on campus.
In order to get involved, students can reach out to Mrs. Caroline Reilly, director of constituent relations.