A $1 million gift, just in time for Christmas, has raised the total given to GRAIN to $74 million—reinforcing the goals of inclusion and affordability that distinguish the school and that characterize the new strategic framework
recently adopted by Groton’s Board of Trustees.
The first GRAIN (GRoton Affordability and INclusion) initiative raised $53 million between late 2014 and 2018, and its second phase, known as GRAIN 2.0, continues to resonate, bringing in funds at a pace of about $1 million per month. With $21 million raised to date, GRAIN 2.0 is nearing its $25 million goal.
While alumni and parents both continue to support GRAIN generously, the recent swell for GRAIN 2.0 has been led by parents—a validation of the current-day experience of Groton students. New parents today are as motivated to give as parents were in GRAIN’s early days.
"Whereas alumni are forever in their emotional attachment to the school they attended, parents are providing affirmation of the sense of belonging for their children who attend Groton School today,” said Headmaster Temba Maqubela. “GRAIN is the vehicle that enables this remarkable journey toward belonging to happen in tandem for both alumni and parents. At a rate of $1 million dollars raised per month for the last twenty-one months, it is no longer debatable—GRAIN is ingrained at Groton."
Donors cite various reasons for supporting GRAIN and GRAIN 2.0: some are moved by the opportunity to empower students with untapped potential so they might become our future leaders, while others focus on GRAIN’s success holding down tuition. GRAIN froze tuition for three years and has enabled annual increases of only 1.5 percent since—plummeting Groton's tuition rank from the most expensive among forty peer schools to nearly the least expensive at thirty-ninth of forty. GRAIN 2.0 is focused on tuition containment, while also raising funds to increase the number of Inclusion Scholars, a subset of students selected to receive need-based scholarships because they embody the ethos of GRAIN, and to add Inclusion Scholars in the Second Form (eighth grade).
One donor, who prefers to remain anonymous. said he gives to GRAIN for two primary reasons. "First, GRAIN brings to Groton students who because of their social, economic, or educational backgrounds would otherwise lack the knowledge, means, or access to come to Groton’s attention or win admission. GRAIN thus helps Groton dramatically change the life trajectory of these youth,” he explained. “Second, if our goal is to give our own students the right tools to make material positive contributions to our society—and even to become global leaders—then our students will benefit from learning in a highly diverse student body. So GRAIN enables all our students to expand their perspectives and to learn how to collaborate with people from a broad variety of demographic backgrounds.”
The broad umbrella of social justice motivates many donors who see GRAIN as a chance to make a difference; indeed, their gifts have direct, tangible, and immediate impact on the lives of Groton students. Thanks to GRAIN, 43 percent of Groton students today receive financial aid, compared to 36 percent in 2014–15, before GRAIN took root. The total financial aid budget then was $6.3 million, compared to $7.7 million today (a 22 percent increase).
Board of Trustees President Benjamin Pyne '77, P'12, '15 praised the momentum that continues to carry GRAIN. “We are so grateful for this recent significant gift, which supports the new strategic framework and the GRAIN initiative,” he said. “This reaffirms that the school is building on the values that have made Groton strong and is continuing on a firm trajectory toward an even greater sense of inclusion and belonging for all.”