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Sundheims' record gift to support new humanities building

Daniel Sundheim has always been a numbers guy. He went from college to Wall Street, spent more than a decade overseeing billions in assets, then started his own highly successful global investment firm. Yet when asked to name skills central to his career success, he rattles off core components of a humanities education: writing, critical thinking and public speaking.

That belief in the foundational importance of a liberal arts education, which is shared by his wife of 17 years, Brett Sundheim, inspired the couple’s $7.5 million gift for a new humanities building on the upper school campus at Ransom Everglades School.
“Humanities is the backbone of a great education,” he said. “In any career, or the vast majority, you can have great ideas and do great things, but the ability to express yourself thoughtfully and concisely is a skillset you cannot do without. It’s essential.”
 
The gift, announced on June 2 by Ransom Everglades Chair of the Board Jeffrey J. Hicks ’84, is the single largest in the school’s history. The planned facility will be situated near the Lampen Family Wellness Center on the La Brisa land that was acquired by Ransom Everglades in June 2016.
 
“This generous gift will make a huge difference in the lives of future students at Ransom Everglades, providing them with wide-ranging opportunities and the highest-caliber facilities for study in the humanities,” Hicks said. “Ransom Everglades takes pride in its historically rich tradition in the humanities, fostered by legendary faculty including Dan Leslie Bowden and Mike Stokes, and we are thrilled to extend that great tradition.”
 
Daniel Sundheim, the founder of D1 Capital Partners, noted that the new humanities building would provide a certain symmetry on the upper school campus, serving as a complement to the school’s Constance and Miguel Fernandez STEM Center, which opened in August 2020.
 
“A lot of resources go toward technology, engineering and STEM, and that is very appropriate,” he said. “Our country needs great engineers and great scientists, and I would never take away from that. But without a humanities background, students – including those engineers and scientists – will not be able to reach their full potential.”
 
The Sundheims trace their passion for the humanities to their time at the University of Pennsylvania, where Daniel Sundheim majored in economics at the Wharton School and Brett Sundheim earned her undergraduate degree in International Relations. Both enrolled in an art history course that inspired their personal art collection and philanthropic support of the arts. Over the years, the couple also supported medical and educational institutions as they experienced the joy of local philanthropy, which allowed them to see the impact of their gifts.
 
After arriving to Miami from New York in 2021, the Sundheims explored local schools. They appreciated the beauty and potential of RE’s campuses, as well as the extraordinary student body and faculty. Once they visited the Fernandez STEM Center and learned about the long-term vision of the school, they wanted to be a part of it.
 
“We’ve been really impressed by the caliber of students, teachers, administrators and school leaders,” said Brett Sundheim. “It’s exceeded our expectations. We feel very lucky to have landed here. It’s exciting to support the next generation as they explore their interests, discover their strengths and use those strengths to do something meaningful.”
 
Added Dan Sundheim: “Ransom Everglades has always been an amazing school; this offers a chance to take it to the next level.”
 
For more information about how you can support the new humanities building at Ransom Everglades, please contact Director of Advancement Melanie Hoffmann at 305 460 8820 or via email
 
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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.