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A Message from the
Campaign Co-Chairs


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.

Just before construction began on the major building renovation made possible by this campaign, the Board of Trustees met with the team overseeing the project. When asked what they expected to find as they dissected and reassembled our nineteenth century brownstones, one team member remarked that he “anticipated many opportunities for solutions.” This approach to problem-solving is quintessentially Commonwealth. Obstacles become stepping stones; stumbles reveal new perspectives. 

When the pandemic began in March, 2020, Commonwealth faculty and staff had two weeks to conceive of and launch a virtual school. The 2020-2021 school year operated in a hybrid model for the majority of the year, and the class of 2021 celebrated their graduation in-person in June.  This fall school is in session, fully in-person and with myriad safety measures in place. Commonwealth is a school that can nimbly adapt and change and still prioritize its mission: to educate young people from diverse backgrounds to become knowledgeable, thoughtful, and creative adults, capable of careful analysis, fruitful cooperation, responsible leadership, and deep commitment.

When Charles Merrill founded the school in 1957, educational institutions were not actively pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Commonwealth was not only a new school, but a novel concept altogether as diversity and inclusion were intended to be cornerstones of the mission of the school.

From the beginning, one of the pillars of this campaign has been the Power of Opportunity.  Over the last year, the school has strengthened and refined its commitment to DEI.  As we approach the finish line for this ambitious and impactful fundraising effort, we are focused on increasing funds available to students from underrepresented communities. The Commonwealth community continues to be inspired by Mr. Merrill’s vision. With your help, we can create opportunity for a new generation of students. Thank you for considering a gift today.

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

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

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