REinventing Excellence

REinventing Excellence: The Campaign for Ransom Everglades
is the most ambitious in the school’s history. Co-chaired by Jeff Miller ’79, P ’15, ’21 and Constance Fernandez P ’22 , the $75 million campaign will fuel a wide-ranging revitalization that will transform the Upper School grounds and enhance virtually all of the school’s programs – while preserving more than a century of values.
At the heart of Ransom Everglades’ commitment to REinventing Excellence is thoughtful strategic planning. The initiatives Head of School Penny Townsend has crafted, since her arrival to RE in 2014, have provided the inspiration and foundation for this sweeping renewal.

As we look to the future we are enriching the curriculum, building the best faculty, integrating technology creatively, upgrading our facilities, and developing RE as an institution. These are the types of initiatives that propel Ransom Everglades from the ranks of an excellent independent day school to a nationally and internationally renowned leader in secondary school education.

The Campaign for Ransom Everglades

The STEM Center

La Brisa

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Should I give to The Fund for RE (our annual giving program), or REinventing Excellence: The Campaign for Ransom Everglades?

    This question comes up most frequently. Some of you have withheld your support for The Fund for RE as you aspire to “save up” to make a larger donation to the campaign later. Please know that both The Fund (our annual giving program) and The Campaign matter greatly, but serve different functions. The Fund (annual giving) is unrestricted and designed to help make RE better today. Things like financial aid and new specialized equipment /technology that advance learning today. The Campaign for RE is more about helping with the long term continual improvement of our terrific school - new buildings, new curriculum, faculty professional development and experiential learning opportunities for our students. So, while these are somewhat related – providing for a better RE – they do serve two different purposes.

    Gifts to support our short term (The Fund) and long-term (The Campaign) goals are critical. And gifts to both areas will count toward overall recognition in The Campaign. Every single gift, large or small, benefits Ransom Everglades, and all of your gifts are additive.
  • Q. Why are gifts to our annual giving program, The Fund for RE, important?

    Those gifts provide flexible dollars to allow us to act quickly on needs that arise each year – whether they are new laptops, unexpected hurricane expenses, financial aid to assist an additional student in need or the right salary to attract an exceptional teacher. For this reason, the most valuable gifts the school receives are unrestricted gifts for The Fund for RE. And that’s why we consider these gifts the very foundation of our REinventing Excellence campaign.
  • Q. How can we make a gift?

    We sincerely hope that all families, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends will participate by making a commitment to REinventing Excellence. Although the dollar figures pledged by different families will vary greatly, the act of participating is a meaningful symbol of your commitment to the future of RE. It is our hope that you will place RE at the top of your philanthropic list for the next five years.

    If you are an alumna/us, your education was possible because generations of alumni, parents and friends have supported RE with annual gifts. In turn, your gifts help students aspire to make the world a better place, knowing that those who came before them are behind them all the way.

    You can make a gift to the Fund here or by contacting the Advancement Office at 305 460 8859 or the Acting Director of Advancement Julie Rosenfeld via email. We would love to have you come in for an inside look at the master plan for RE.
  • Q. If The Fund for RE represents the foundation of REinventing Excellence, what are the other elements of this campaign?

    REinventing Excellence: The Campaign for Ransom Everglades aims to create significant support for buildings, the endowment and enhancements to the curriculum and programs that will strengthen the institution for years to come. The campaign represents a giant building project, but it’s not just about bricks and mortar. We will build a new STEM Center, Student Commons and Humanities Building in the coming years at the Upper School, but the construction won’t stop there. In fact, it won’t begin there. We are already re-thinking everything that resides in our academic buildings. Our curriculum is undergoing a revitalization. Our programs are being reimagined. Our classrooms will be flexible and collaborative. Our faculty will be rejuvenated.
    As we build up and revitalize our programs, we will also strengthen the financial foundation of Ransom Everglades. That will happen in two ways: increasing our annual gifts support (The Fund for RE) to $3 million annually, and growing our endowment.
  • Q. What are the overall financial goals of the campaign?

    The RE Board of Trustees collaborated with RE leadership to set a goal of $75 million, split between three funding priorities:

    (Campaign conclusion June 30, 2023)
    Support for Current Operations
    The Fund for RE (annual giving)
    $22 million
    Support for the Endowment
    Financial Aid, Faculty Support and Facilities
    $13 million
    Support for facility construction/renovation
    STEM, Student Commons, Humanities, La Brisa
    $40 million
    $75 million
  • Q. How are you doing so far?

    We’re happy to report we are off to a great start with more than $35 million committed. We have received gifts from a wide representation of RE families from Middle School parents, Upper School parents, and faculty and staff, to alumni, parents of alumni and grandparents! We have acquired the La Brisa property next to the Ransom Campus and we are about to start construction on a new STEM Center. We have hired some brilliant new faculty members and a chief technology officer who is guiding our integration of technology, and we’re upgrading the curriculum. There is still plenty to do, and there are many wonderful opportunities to give and take part!
  • Q. So the campaign is designed to build buildings, programs, RE’s faculty, The Fund for RE … and the school’s endowment?

    Yes. We can’t underestimate the importance of the endowment. A strong endowment helps provide financial stability in the near and far future and allows the school to undertake the innovative educational programming that is so important to our mission. RE’s endowment currently provides three percent of our annual operating budget – less than many of the country’s highest-ranked independent schools, and its endowment-per-student also lags significantly behind these schools. At $35 million, our endowment is smaller than one might expect for a school of our age, size and reputation.
    We need to grow our endowment to keep pace with the best schools in our region and nationally. The campaign aims to add $13 million to RE’s endowment to provide ongoing support for the maintenance and upgrade of our expanding campus facilities and to increase our endowment for financial aid and faculty professional development.
  • Q. Campaign timeline?

    The Campaign was officially launched in Fall 2017. We expect our first project – The STEM Center – to break ground in the summer of 2018 and be completed in early 2020. The school, based on fundraising success, will then move to the next project – The Student Commons – with an estimated groundbreaking in early 2021. The final major project – The Humanities Center – is anticipated to move forward at the conclusion of The Campaign in Spring 2023.
  • Q. What are the end objectives of REinventing Excellence?

    The campaign will help raise Ransom Everglades’ national and international profile as a premier independent day school. It will support many of the strategic goals outlined by Head of School Penny Townsend and enthusiastically supported by the Board of Trustees. These include acquiring new land, funding new buildings, strengthening the faculty, elevating the student experience and maintaining a robust student financial support program.

    Ransom Everglades aspires to teach exceptional young people how to understand the world and contribute to it. Our school not only prepares its students for college, it also prepares them to tackle the world's most pressing challenges and to recognize and develop new opportunities.
  • Q.
    Is giving money the only way to be involved?

    In addition to making an annual or campaign gift to support the school, many supporters also share their time. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available to alumni, parents, and friends; these include serving on a reunion class committee, REPA, or regional alumni board, and more. To learn more, contact the advancement office at 305 460 8812, attend an event on campus, or join us at one of our regional meetings. You can also serve as an ambassador for RE by sharing the value of your experience with others.

STEM Center Time-Lapse

List of 5 items.


    No meaningful vision for Ransom Everglades could exist apart from our students and the faculty, coaches, counselors and staff who serve them.

    I believe the RE community has rallied around our vision because it is specific, aspirational and humane.

    GROW. We will continue to evolve as individuals and as an institution.

    LEARN. We will acquire and apply knowledge in areas ranging from academics, personal resiliency and sportsmanship to public service and environmental stewardship.

    EXCEL. We will seek to achieve the highest standards as students, teachers, coaches, activists, philanthropists, volunteers and as an institution.

    SERVE. We will forever send out graduates that put more into the world than they take out.


    Enrich the curriculum
    We will continue to raise the bar for academic excellence and innovation.

    Build the best faculty
    We will recruit faculty who…
    …possess a passion to teach and the talent to lead.
    ...challenge themselves as well as their students.
    ...improve outcomes and change lives.

    Integrate technology creatively
    We will accelerate the learning process and make our classrooms global.

    Upgrade buildings, facilities and spaces
    We will transform the campus: learning spaces create learning experiences.

    Develop RE as an institution
    We will be recognized as one of the finest preparatory schools in America.


    Science, technology, engineering and math will soon have a brilliant new home on the Upper School campus.

    The STEM Center will be a three-story, 45,000 sq. ft. facility optimized for formal and informal learning.

    Located at the campus entrance, the STEM Center will create new opportunities for the kind of indoor/outdoor/experiential learning that has been central to RE’s curriculum from its founding.
    • 10 flexible classrooms
    • 11 labs for earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics
    • Integrated fabrication and maker labs
    • Rooftop outdoor lab for modular agriculture
    • Aquatics lab
    • A variety of informal learning and collaboration spaces
    • Reconfigurable, multipurpose space with room for 200 people

    Construction began in December of 2018.
    Click here for additional information and naming opportunities


    The purchase of the La Brisa property adjoining the school's main campus is one of the most significant events in RE's long history.
    At a stroke, we …
    • Almost doubled the size of the Upper School campus
    • Added 6.9 acres that include tropical green spaces, a mangrove habitat and broad lawns shaded by a dense canopy of old-growth trees.
    • Extended our frontage on the bay by 270 feet
    • Acquired an architecturally significant home built in the 1920s
    • Found new space for walkways, quads, outdoor learning
    The creative and responsible use of La Brisa has been incorporated into a revised campus master plan that calls for the transformation of nearly all the academic spaces on the current Upper School campus.
    Click here for additional information and naming opportunities


    STEM Center
    (additional opportunities are available)

    Existing Quad$2,500,000
    STEM Quad (reserved)$2,500,000
    Quad (new dining)$1,500,000
    La Brisa Building
    (additional opportunities are available)
    La Brisa Front Lawn$1,000,000
    La Brisa Rear Lawn$2,500,000
    Sunken Garden$1,000,000
    La Brisa Rear Patio$1,000,000
    La Brisa Fountain Area$500,000
    La Brisa Boat Basin$500,000
    La Brisa Mangrove Preservation/Education Area $500,000
    La Brisa Nature Walk and Dock$250,000
    Pagoda-La Brisa Connecting Bridge (reserved)$250,000
    New Dining/Student Commons$5,000,000
    New Humanities Building$5,000,000
    Quad Plaza-Central Artery$500,000
    Drop-Off Circle$500,000
    Pagoda Plaza$500,000
    Click here for the STEM Center naming opportunities
    Click here for the major donor naming opportunities

Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Middle School2045 South Bayshore DriveTel: 305-250-6850
Upper School3575 Main HighwayTel: 305-460-8800
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.