Letter from the Head of School

Money is Fuel

Dear Friends,

As we enter into November, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your philanthropic support of The Albany Academies, explain why it is so vital, and remind us about the various ways this support can be expressed.

Thank You! On behalf of all of us at the Academies, a heartfelt “thank you” for the investment of time, talent, and treasure that our community makes in the School. I know that we are one of many worthy organizations seeking such investment, and we are honored to receive it. While individual stakeholders express their support in various ways, the cumulative effect is a vibrant School celebrating its third century of transforming students’ lives. This would simply not be possible without you.

Why Give? These are a few of the reasons why philanthropy plays an essential role in our school and community:
  • Tuition is Not Enough. The things that we have always valued about The Albany Academies’ experience make it very expensive, economically inefficient, and incredibly valuable. Our largest annual expenditure supports our excellent faculty and staff, who believe the most effective learning environment is one where the ratio between teachers and students is relatively small. We also believe in educating the whole child by providing a wide range of learning opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics, and making these opportunities available in the best facilities possible. These “inefficiencies” could easily be solved with larger classes, a curriculum of core academics only, and a much more modest physical plant. But then we wouldn’t be the Academies. Instead, tuition covers approximately 85 percent of annual school operations, with the rest coming from philanthropic support.
  • Money is Fuel. This philanthropy supports many of the ongoing and future plans for The Albany Academies, such as retaining and attracting excellent teachers, strengthening and expanding academic and co-curricular programs, providing scholarship opportunities, and continuously improving our infrastructure. The more fuel in our tanks, the further and faster we go.
  • Philanthropy Honors the Past. I repeatedly hear from alumni and alumnae that attending the Academies was a transformational experience. It is and always has been a place where faculty and students come together in unique and authentic ways that allow children to become the adults they were meant to be. Our alumni and alumnae remember this and loyally support the School so that it continues to provide similar experiences for the current generation. I also hear the same message from our current parents, parents of alumni/ae, and grandparents.
  • Philanthropy Pays it Forward. Two centuries ago dedicated trustees realized that Albany needed the Academies. They built buildings, hired faculty and staff, and started an endowment, reasoning that over time this investment would allow the school they loved to endure and thrive. Each subsequent generation has benefited from this decision and added their support. Now it’s our turn.
Your Support. There are a several ways to express your support for the School, and we are most grateful for however you may choose to do so:
  • The Annual Fund. Remember that fifteen percent gap between tuition revenue and operating costs? The Annual Fund is one of the main ways we close that gap, and we appreciate any and all Annual Fund gifts that we receive, regardless of amount. In fact, your loyal, annual participation is just as important as the amount you are able to donate, as many gifts of various amounts quickly add up. A brochure is enclosed that provides more information about how to support this Fund.
  • Giving Tuesday. In our busy lives, sometimes we need a prompt to execute our good intentions. One such prompt is Giving Tuesday, a movement that brings charitable giving to social media platforms on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. If you are so inclined, please follow the #GivingTuesday prompts on November 27, 2018 in support of The Albany Academies.
  • Capital Gifts. These are singular gifts that are usually focused on a particular need or initiative. Sometimes they are expended on a specific project, and sometimes they are invested in the School’s endowment such that a portion of the return is directed to a specific need within the school. Our current capital initiative is the Campaign for the Third Century, with nearly $17 million dollars raised towards a goal of $20 million by 2020. Our most current project is the construction of a Multipurpose Athletic Practice Facility, featuring an indoor running track and practice courts. You will be hearing much more about this in subsequent communications.
  • Planned Giving. When I think about the impact of my life, I often wonder what my legacy will be. I know that some of it will be ephemeral – the people I have influenced and how those interactions might ripple out over time. But I also think about the more tangible things I might leave behind such as funds for my grandchildren’s education or a home where future generations might gather. Beyond my family circle, I also wonder about my impact on the larger community, such as the buildings I have helped create or scholarships I have endowed. If you have had similar thoughts, I hope you will consider investing some of your estate in the Academies. Every time we receive a planned gift it has a transformational effect on the School, further securing both The Albany Academies’ future and the donor’s legacy. If you are interested in learning more about this kindly contact Director of Institutional Advancement, Ann Wendth, at (518) 429-2385.
This last point reminds me of a story. I had a powerful moment a few years ago when, upon thanking a donor for his generosity, he looked me squarely in the eye and said, “I should be thanking you – the School changed my life and it makes me incredibly happy to support it.” As he said that, I swear I could see both the man he was and the child he used to be, his understanding of how the School informed his journey between the two, and his tremendous pride in his ability to acknowledge this. While this may not be every donor’s experience, I left this particular meeting incredibly humbled to play my small part in the complex web of a lifetime relationship between school and student.

I truly hope to have many more of these moments over the coming years, and thank you in advance for your kind consideration of support for our wonderful school.


Christopher J. Lauricella, Ed. M.
Head of School
While stakeholders might express their investment in different ways, the cumulative effect of your support is a vibrant School celebrating its third century of transforming students’ lives. This would simply not be possible without you. Thank you!
    • Introducing Head of School Chris Lauricella

List of 1 items.

  • Transition Committee

    Chris Bender '78, P'15, '20, Co-Chair of Transition Committee
    Eileen Considine P’08, Trustee, Co-Chair of Transition Committee
    Jennifer Amstutz P’19, ’21, Trustee
    Dave Ashton P’17, ’21, ’21
    Nancy Carey Cassidy P’13, ’15, Trustee
    Tom Cassidy P’13, ’15
    Adam Collett P’32
    Karin Epstein P’18, ’21
    Anna Flik P’18, ’20, ’23, ’26
    James Hart P’09, ’10, ’13
    John Hayes ’87, P’16, ’18, Trustee
    Donna Keegan P’06, ’10
    Robert LuPone P’24
    Sandra Miorin P’10, ’12
    Wendy Muhlfelder ’67, P’94, ’98, ’99, ’00
    Timothy Owens ’83, P’15, ’19
    William B. Picotte ’67, P’01, ‘04
    Jim Poole ’68, P’02, ’14
    Shelly Reid P’12, ’23
    Susan Sneeringer '72, P’01, ’04, ‘08
    Kaari Stannard P’20, ’23, Trustee
    Ann Wendth
    Vince Zabinski P’99, ’03, ’04, ’04

The Albany Academy

Albany Academy for Girls

Schellenberger Alumni/ae Center