Gift Propels Plans for Track, Other Strategic Goals

An anonymous donor has honored the Maqubelas’ tenth year at Groton School with a gift that will propel the goals in the school’s new strategic framework, particularly the effort to build a track-and-field facility on campus.

Groton’s strategic framework, adopted by the Board of Trustees in November 2021, focuses on inclusion, belonging, and student well-being. One section of the framework, “An Inclusive Campus” notes that a student’s sense of belonging is enhanced by "academic, athletic, residential, and extracurricular experiences." The track-and-field program has grown significantly—44 percent between 2014 and 2022. It is a sport without barriers, requiring no prior training and no special equipment for the participant. Groton's team has remained competitive, despite practicing at a local high school's track.

The anonymous gift, of $3.5 million, is a matching gift to motivate other donors. Besides building the track, fundraising efforts intend to complete the endowment of the GRACE (GRoton Accelerate Challenge Enrich) summer program and to continue to endow the ongoing work of inclusion and tuition containment through GRAIN 2.0 (GRoton Affordability and INclusion 2.0). 

GRAIN, adopted as the school’s number-one strategic priority in 2014 and expanded as part of the recent strategic framework, has ensured that Groton welcomes all deserving students, without regard to their ability to pay, and has demonstrated a remarkable model of tuition containment—freezing tuition for three years and keeping tuition increases below 1.5 percent in the years since. For the 2022–23 school year, Groton has the lowest tuition among forty peer schools; it has become recognized as a leader among independent schools in inclusion and tuition containment.

The new track-and-field facility will be a tangible piece of Groton’s focus on belonging. A small committee of trustees, faculty, and staff is working with the consulting firm that managed the 2015 Schoolhouse renovation to finalize the track project and create a timeline.

“Completing a track for Groton School is just one way we hope to honor the significant impact that Temba and Vuyelwa Maqubela have had as they start their tenth year at Groton,” said Board of Trustees President Benjamin Pyne '77, P'12, '15. “The extent to which our visionary headmaster has transformed life on the Circle is frankly extraordinary. I know that every trustee is proud to be a part of the Maqubelas’ legacy.”