The Masters School Receives $10 Million Gift

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Largest Gift in School’s History Will Name the Maureen Fonseca Center for Athletics and Arts

The Fonseca Center will be a dynamic addition to The Masters School and distinctive among similar facilities at independent schools.

The Masters School has received a $10 million gift from The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda, MD, the largest one-time gift in the School’s history. This endowment gift will be used to help offset the operating costs of the new Athletic and Arts Center, as well as provide permanent funds for faculty salaries, release time to develop new courses, and additional continuing education opportunities. The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation has made this grant in recognition of Head of School Dr. Maureen Fonseca’s fifteen years of extraordinary leadership. It was the Foundation board’s wish that the School name the new building the Maureen Fonseca Center for Athletics and Arts (Fonseca Center) in her honor.

At a recent strategic planning retreat, endowment growth was identified as essential to The Masters School’s sustainability. Tuition and fees do not cover the entire cost of educating and supporting Masters students. Annual income drawn from the School’s endowment and gifts to the Annual Fund help fill that gap, allowing Masters to offer its exceptional educational experience each year. Board Chair Tracy Tang Limpe '80 P'18 states that “this generous gift will provide a significant and valuable infusion of funds into our existing endowment. It is entirely fitting that it goes to support the Fonseca Center and our faculty, two of Maureen’s greatest hallmarks in her fifteen-year tenure.”

Diana Davis Spencer '56 P'84 and Abby Spencer Moffat '84 are thrilled that their foundation could recognize Dr. Fonseca in this prominent and enduring fashion. “Maureen’s leadership and vision have propelled The Masters School forward as an exceptional independent school on an international scale,” Diana Spencer says. “Her determination to complete the Masters Athletic and Arts Center (now the Fonseca Center) and her unbending dedication to faculty excellence and curricular innovation have been remarkable. We are delighted to honor Dr. Fonseca in this way.” Abby Moffat noted the importance of supporting faculty in particular: “Teachers are often underpaid and under-recognized. It is critically important to value faculty for their hard work through competitive salaries, special awards, professional development opportunities, and the like. This grant will allow Masters to celebrate and reward its teachers, as it continues to build a faculty of distinction.”

About the Maureen Fonseca Center for Athletics and Arts

Much more than a traditional gymnasium or arts center, the Fonseca Center will be a one-of-a-kind, innovative, 75,000 square-foot complex that will bring together athletics, the arts, leadership activities, and community gathering spaces in a hub of activity that will transform the way students and visitors interact with the school’s campus and with each other. The Fonseca Center’s facilities include a swimming pool, squash courts, fencing room, indoor track, training room, fitness center, basketball/volleyball gymnasium, suspended running track, an art gallery, performance/recital space, experimental theater, digital arts and recording studios, and dance studios. In addition, the Center will house a Community Service & Leadership Lab, flexible student spaces, and a café/bistro that opens to a public courtyard.

About The Masters School

The Masters School is a coed day and boarding school for 5th-12th grade students located on a picturesque, 96-acre campus in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Masters guides students to be intellectually capable and curious, humane and respectful of other people, individuals of integrity and character, and to be a power for good in the world. By enriching minds in and beyond the classroom, Masters students are prepared for achievement in college, career and life.

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Bob Horne
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