Alumnus helps RE students reach their potential

The report cards did not forecast a successful academic path: Ray Zemon ’66 came to Ransom mid-year in 1963 as a C- student from a public school. Yet the scores on his admission tests hinted that there was more to his story. Once Ray arrived on Ransom’s campus, he quickly adapted to the culture of the school, where academics ruled and students invested in their studies. With no distractions and surrounded by committed peers, he worked to improve his academic prospects. He went on to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a degree in management. After earning a graduate business degree from the University of Wisconsin, Ray began a career in finance, working as a fixed income portfolio manager at Harris Trust, then joined the fixed income division of Lincoln Capital. He retired after 25 years in investing and became an entrepreneur, co-founding, which was acquired by Amazon in 2006. 
Moved to give back to the school that put him on a new path, Ray began his current-use scholarship at Ransom Everglades in 1995. Ray’s charge to the school was as follows:

“Find a student who, at the time of their admission, needs to be at Ransom Everglades more than Ransom Everglades needs the student. By that I mean I’m not interested in supporting someone who is expected to be an outstanding scholar or athlete. I’m confident that person will do fine wherever they go to school. I’m seeking to help someone with potential, but for whom the Ransom Everglades experience may be transformative. I’m willing to let the school take a risk on the student I’m supporting. I understand it may not always work out. That said, I would like to give someone the same opportunity I received when Ransom School admitted a poor performing public school student, mid-year in 1963. I hope the Ransom Everglades experience does as much for them as it did for me.”

Ray’s generous vision for financial aid has allowed Ransom Everglades to support six students as Zemon Scholars.

Financial aid at Ransom Everglades
  • Currently, 20 percent of RE students, grades 6-12, receive a total of $7.1 million in financial support.
  • The average scholarship grant is $30,985.
  • COVID-19 has placed a significant strain on our current and prospective families, and we have increased our financial assistance budget in 2020-21 by 16.9 percent.
  • Each year, approximately 20 percent of donors to The Fund for RE designate their gifts to financial aid.
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 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.