By 2014, Paul Ransom’s school on its original Main Highway site could no longer meet the needs of our students. Over time, green space had given way to greatly needed academic, artistic and athletic facilities, not to mention parking lots to accommodate a day school population. The original 40 or so students had ballooned to more than 600, and many of the buildings on campus had not been refurbished since their construction during Headmaster Pierre Cameron’s buildout of the tiny Florida Adirondack School after WWII. The space was cramped, and the academic buildings were in desperate need of updating.
Simultaneous with the city approval that made plans for a STEM Center a reality, the contiguous La Brisa property came on the real estate market. With a historic main house, seven magnificent acres and a boat basin, this old Miami jewel captured the imaginations of the trustees, and they set about charting a course for the future.
In the fall of 2017, Ransom Everglades launched REinventing Excellence: The Campaign for Ransom Everglades, the most ambitious campaign in our history. This was an enormous undertaking. There was no way we would have set out on this path had we not had the confidence that we would find the support we needed to be successful.
As of today, we have raised more than $49 million in gifts that support The Fund for RE, capital projects, the endowment or some combination of the three. Dedicated individuals have devoted time and energy. From our board of trustees and alumni board to our alumni class agents and parent volunteers for The Fund for RE, volunteers are leading the charge. Faculty and staff members, who already give to RE each and every day, have been generous in their support.
This support has fueled our progress to date. As you will read in this newsletter, we have continued innovating our curriculum and providing opportunities to engage our students as global citizens. We have completed the renovation of Cameron Hall and the creation of a new integrated student Wellness Center, located in the former guest cottage on the La Brisa property. In the works — beyond the STEM Center — are the renovation of the La Brisa home to bring together the head of school, admission and advancement offices, and designs for a new dining hall and humanities building.
The only thing greater than our ambition is our confidence in our community. We know how much you love this school, and how generous you have been — and will continue to be. We ask you to join us to raise the remaining $26 million that will allow us to complete our reinvention, ensuring that Ransom Everglades remains an educational beacon on Biscayne Bay, guiding the way for future generations of students.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.