A Message from the
Campaign Co-Chairs

Nearly fifteen years ago, our oldest son walked through the door at 151 Commonwealth Avenue for the first time. Since then, the school has been a constant in the life of our family. All three of our sons--Mario ’10, Gabe ’12, and Julian ’18—thrived at Commonwealth. We have seen the school grow and evolve during challenging and complex times.


When our community started The Power of a Vision capital campaign in 2015, there were three fundamental pillars we sought to buttress at the school: The Power of  a Place, The Power of Opportunity, and the Power of a Teacher. Our first priority was to address the urgent physical needs of the school building and to ensure Commonwealth was on steady ground—quite literally—for decades to come. We are grateful to everyone whose generous support made such significant work possible. The nineteenth-century brownstones now truly host a twenty-first century school.

However, beyond the physical plant, this campaign has also been about two other essential components of Commonwealth: creating opportunity for students and supporting the school’s exceptional teachers. As parents of Commonwealth alumni, we know that the people—the faculty, staff, and students—make the school. It is only fitting that the final stretch of this transformative campaign provides support for those critical components of the school. Commonwealth has renewed its commitment to Mr. Merrill’s founding vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Generous alumnia/e have given to ensure that we are positioned to truly be a place of opportunity for all in the community. 


We also believe deeply in encouraging teachers’ individual intellectual pursuits so that their experiences can enrich the Commonwealth classroom. For more than twenty years, Bill Wharton has led the school with creative ambition and meticulous attention. Commonwealth has thrived under his leadership, never more so than in the past year when a Commonwealth education had to be quickly reimagined during the global pandemic. We are grateful to Matt Kraning ’04 for establishing an endowed fund in honor of Bill to support our faculty. Matt has generously agreed to match all gifts to that fund at a rate of 2:1 up to $500,000.  This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize Bill Wharton and his tenure at Commonwealth. We encourage the community to take advantage of this generous opportunity to support our teachers and recognize Bill in this way.


Commonwealth is a small school with a big vision. We are proud to be part of this community that cares so deeply about its students and the world they inhabit. We invite you to join us in investing in Commonwealth’s future by supporting the Power of a Vision.

José Alvarez & Suzanne McGilvray, P’10, ’12, ’18

José Alvarez & Suzanne McGilvray, P’10, ’12, ’18