A Message from the
Campaign Co-Chairs

When we look at our three sons, we see highly educated, intellectually curious young men who want to make a difference in the world and also have the skills to make that change happen. Mario graduated from Commonwealth in 2010, Gabe in 2012, and Julian in 2018. Their respective four years at Commonwealth were instrumental in this development. We know with certainty that they would be very different today if they had not spent their most formative years at 151 Commonwealth Ave. They are in no way unique among their fellow Commonwealth classmates. We continue to hear of the amazing journeys of many of their friends and the interesting and important things they are doing now. Stories about Commonwealth graduates never cease to amaze us.


So what is it about this place? Our faculty is highly skilled and the teaching of writing and research skills, analytical thinking and specific subject matter content is unsurpassed. However, this alone is not what makes Commonwealth so transformative. Just as vital to the experience is the fact that a Commonwealth education happens within the context of a set of values and ideals that binds the entire community. These emanate from our faculty, who are much more than teachers. Through their interactions with students they pass along this set of values and ideals to generation after generation of graduates. The origin comes from Charles Merrill himself: integrity, compassion, empathy, equity, and awareness of larger societal issues were essential to Mr. Merrill when he founded Commonwealth.


This campaign is about maintaining that vision that Mr. Merrill had 60 years ago, a vision that was shaped by the horrors of a world war and its aftermath. By raising funds for the school building, faculty compensation and professional development, and financial aid and student scholarships, we strengthen this institution. By strengthening this great institution, we are honoring Mr. Merrill’s hopes for society and the impact his vision continues to have.

For our students, four years of living in this context can be life changing. Our graduates want to make a difference in the world and all are highly equipped to do so.


Our sons grew immeasurably during their time at Commonwealth. They graduated with a greater sense of purpose and a greater understanding of themselves, and we are very grateful for the education they received.  We encourage you to join us in supporting The Power of a Vision: a Campaign for Commonwealth because we know that now, more than ever, the world needs this school.

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

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

© 2021 by Commonwealth School 

  • Instagram
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Flickr