Alumna Gives $2 Million to Country School
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New Canaan Country School has received a $2 million gift toward a new Dining Room and community gathering space. This gift was made by alumna Susan Haigh Carver, Class of 1951, and her husband John Carver.
“We are deeply honored by the exceptional generosity of the Carver family. Their gift is transformational in every sense, allowing our campus to be as expansive, trailblazing and inspiring as our faculty, students and alumni,” said Head of School Dr. Robert P. Macrae. “With their gift for this building, they have helped to ensure that Country School has the physical capacity necessary to deliver upon its mission for decades to come.”
As a young girl, Mrs. Carver attended Country School from fourth through ninth grade and has vivid memories of riding the bus to and from her childhood home in Darien, leaving school early on Wednesdays to go horseback riding, and bringing friends to swim at Tokeneke.
“New Canaan Country School was very special,” said Mrs. Carver. “It was parental, in the nicest sense of the word. It felt like home.”
Following her graduation in 1951, Mrs. Carver attended the Ethel Walker School and then Smith College before marrying and settling in her husband’s native California.
The Carvers’ varied interests have included philanthropic endeavors such as Jobs for Youth, A Better Chance and the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Previously, Mr. Carver’s professional career included senior level positions with the San Francisco based-retailer, the Gap, Inc.
With stories of New Canaan Country School still receiving pride of place in his wife’s memory, Mr. Carver reached out to the school. “Sue has always said that her time at Country School was special. When we came to her 50th reunion, we remarked that it felt so comfortable.”
“We thought the cafeteria would have the most wide-ranging effect on the school since it touches everyone — students, faculty, staff and, frequently, parents,” said Mr. Carver. “We also like that the space will support community-building, a principle upon which the school was founded 100 years ago.”
“Intellectual curiosity and an open, bold approach to life have been among the hallmarks of a Country School education,” Dr. Macrae said. “The generous gift from the Carvers is in keeping with this deeply embedded spirit. Thanks to them, Country School can ensure that physical space will not constrain our mission, but rather continue to serve as our students’ gateway to a world without limitations.”