When walking into Newark Academy’s Rose Auditorium, alumni from 1965 through the present are flooded with memories: “Oh, I remember this smell”… “that was my seat … “it seemed so much bigger when I was a kid.” In the lives of many NA students, the auditorium is a place of “firsts.” It is the first place a young student stands before an audience, the first time a student advocates for an idea or a cause, and perhaps the first time a student experiences his or her own ideas challenged. Truly the heart of the NA campus, the auditorium is also a place of final bows – Middle School graduation, the final curtain in the Winter Musical and now, the final capital project to be undertaken in the Rise & Flourish campaign.
Likely a $4.5 to $5 million renovation and expansion project, the auditorium project will bring this distinctive facility into the 21st century with seating for 750, updated acoustics, significantly improved lighting and much-needed storage spaces. According to Walter Kneis of NK Architects, “The design will reflect the pivotal role that the space plays in the life of the school and the quality of the Academy’s students and programs.”
A preview of these inspiring plans took place on April 11 at a gathering of NA parents, alumni, faculty and Trustees. Noting that enthusiastic support for the auditorium project will be essential, Board of Trustees Chairman David McGraw ’77 and Trustee Advancement Chair Marika Alzadon ’89 announced to the community the Trustee Gift Challenge. “Every member of the Board of Trustees has already made a generous gift to Rise & Flourish,” David said, “and those gifts went to one or more of the previous capital projects. To ensure that our entire community understands the importance of the auditorium project, Trustees are leading the way by making additional gifts earmarked for the auditorium.”
Collectively, gifts from the NA Trustees will provide a fund of $1 million that will be used to match every new gift and pledge to the auditorium project through December 31, 2018.
According to Marika, she and her fellow members of the Board hope that the Trustee Gift Challenge will inspire the community to join the auditorium effort. “In order to continue our fiscal discipline of beginning construction when gifts and pledges to the project reach 50 percent of the total cost, we are going to need $2.5 million to put a shovel in the ground on the auditorium. We believe the Trustee Gift Challenge can jump-start this effort.”
The April 11 event also included remarks by former NA school president Kyle Ostroff ’09 who reminded the audience of the importance of the auditorium in student leadership development. Arts Department Chair Elaine Brodie also spoke, proudly describing the myriad accomplishments of NA performers and sharing her dream of how the new facility will allow for more robust demonstrations of students’ talents.
To make a gift or pledge to Rise & Flourish in support of the auditorium project, contact Lisa Grider at email@example.com or 973-992-7000, ext. 320, or visit the website at www.riseandflourish.org
Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy surpassed its goal of $30 million in October 2017! An additional $2.5 million is needed to begin the renovation and expansion of the auditorium.
As Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy enters its final months, its success is a testament to the community’s “generosity of spirit” and the collective will to ensure Newark Academy’s strength for the next 50 years. To date, donors have made just over 700 gifts to Rise & Flourish, vastly exceeding any other fundraising effort in the Academy’s history.
Campaign Chair Jeff Kaplan calls the response to the campaign extraordinary. “Rise & Flourish truly is evidence of the breadth and depth of the NA community. We (the Campaign Executive Committee) agreed when we began this effort that we would go beyond the numerical goal of $30 million to create something that would bring our community together in an inspiring and transformative experience. I think we’re reaching that ambitious goal, too.”