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Bantering with the Board

Bauhinia Chen ‘26

On Friday, October 13, the Board of Regents gathered for its first on-campus visit of the 2023-24 school year. “The Board of Regents and the school work hand in hand together regularly, so meetings like this one are a part of good governance,” said Head of School Quentin McDowell. “Mercersburg will continue to work on the evolution of our educational curriculum and programming as outlined in our strategic design. Similarly, the recently completed campus master plan has provided the school with a road map for developing and stewarding our beautiful facilities and grounds.” Associate Head of School Jennifer Craig added, “Some of our plans include working to prepare for different pieces of the campus master plan, Civic Engagement program, and making sure we continue to develop good financial practices that help the school move forward.” 

Bill Su ‘88, P‘23 ‘25, explained, “[The agenda included] reporting on the finances of the school, the management of the endowment fund, updates on student life and academic issues, reporting on the school's marketing as well as the admissions and enrollment data, and updates on fundraising for the Annual Fund. Also, Mercersburg is planning on undergoing another fundraising campaign. This will take place over several years and will help fund capital improvements.” Su also suggested the discussions taking place on the restructuring of PGA programs. “There is a sense that the breadth and number of PGA activities have created too many separate activities. This not only dilutes the number of students participating in core PGA activities but also prevents students from participating in multiple activities, such as a sport and Octet or Stoney Batter. In addition, each sport is being asked to reassess its program to improve the student experience.”

A few students had the opportunity to meet with Board members during lunch. Board members heard oft the realities of student life while students marveled over policies of the past. Shine Jo ‘25 said, “I met with a regent who graduated in 07’, so we had a lot in common. We talked a lot about the clubs he was in, like Blue Review, News, Yearbook, and also how he was a swimmer and a baseball player while he was here!” 

Maria Rihn ‘24 said, “The board member that I hosted talked a lot about his experience at Mercersburg. It was really interesting to hear his perspective on how a place like this can always maintain the same underlying community feeling: home. I really appreciated being able to interact with the board members in a more casual, one-on-one setting, as this allowed us to have real conversations with continued input from both sides. I appreciated this method of interacting with the board, as it allowed for a true connection to form between board members and students!”

Likewise, board members enjoyed their visit. “I feel so positively about Mercersburg. The faculty and staff are great people and professionals. The students are so impressive. Incredible backgrounds and accomplishments. I always leave the Academy ever more hopeful about what is ahead,” said Board of Regents President Tom Hadzor ‘72. 

With many promising projects on the table, the Board of Regents is engaged in fruitful collaboration with the executive team. McDowell commented, “One of my big takeaways from the Board of Regents visit is just how fortunate we are to have so many amazing and dedicated alumni and parents that are willing to provide the school with their time, talent, and treasure through their service on the Board. They love their school and share the common goal of always wanting what is best for our Mercersburg.”

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