PDS Leadership Giving Clubs
Since its founding in 1934, Poughkeepsie Day School’s mission and programs have been sustained and advanced by the commitment and financial support of generations of PDS families, alumni and friends. Their vision and generosity of spirit and financial support has built a legacy enjoyed by today’s PDS students. These leaders have set a standard and course of action for future generations of PDS families, alumni and friends to follow.
Leadership giving to Poughkeepsie Day School is recognized annually through membership in the following leadership giving societies and clubs, acknowledging the total of a donor's Annual Fund (unrestricted) gift plus any restricted and corporate matching gifts given during the school's fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30.
Spaulding House, Poughkeepsie Day School’s original home from 1934 to 1963, was located on the corner of Grand and Hooker avenues in the City of Poughkeepsie. The large center-hall colonial is remembered for its warm and inviting atmosphere and an adjacent barn where “magical” drama productions were staged. Through their thoughtful philanthropy, members of the Spaulding Society sustain the school’s legacy as a pioneer in innovative education.
To accommodate its growing enrollment, the school raised funds to build a new modern facility at 39 New Hackensack Road on the Vassar College campus. In 1963 the school moved into this new home, a 20,000 square-foot structure designed by parent architects William Gindele and Jeh Johnson. Through their generosity, members of The “39” Society exemplify the dedication and drive necessary to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing world.
Kenyon House, built in 1913, was once the mansion on the “Cliffdale” estate of industrialist Clarence Kenyon, known for establishing factories to take workers out of home sweatshops. His daughter, Helen Kenyon, a Vassar College alumna, was a vigorous fundraiser for her alma mater and the first woman elected chair of the Vassar College board of trustees. She was active in the community and a fighter for the underprivileged with interests in education, religion, politics, public welfare and community progress. The estate was bought by IBM in 1944, serving as a research laboratory and later a guest house and education center. Purchased by PDS in 1995, Kenyon House is home to the high school and administrative offices. Through their generous gifts to advance Poughkeepsie Day School, members of the Kenyon Society epitomize the activism and commitment of the Kenyons.
The large, open multi-purpose space called the Big Room was the center of community life at “39,” PDS’s New Hackensack Road home from 1963 to 1998. The Big Room served as cafeteria, library, theater, classroom and meeting area, often at the same time! It was where younger and older PDS students interacted and was the setting for four-square games, Renaissance festivals, all-school dinners and the birthplace of the original musical. Through their generous gifts, members of the Big Room Club strengthen the educational experience of the community of learners at PDS.
Adopted as the official school logo when PDS moved to “39,” the compass symbolizes the value of a PDS education: a useful and enduring tool for finding one’s calling or path in life. In 2008 the design of the compass logo was updated to emphasize the global nature of a PDS education and underscore the school’s motto: many minds, one world. The vital support of Compass Club members helps to ensure the relevancy and value of a PDS education.
The Eagle Society is a longstanding rite of passage for PDS lower school students. Students become members of the Eagle Society by reciting their favorite poems, including The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1851) and the much beloved Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll (1872). Through their gifts members of the Eagle Socety recognize that giving is a vital expression of community that enables the school to keep moving forward.
By a student vote in 2009, Navigators was selected as the name for PDS athletic teams. The name relates to the school logo, the compass, and testifies to how PDS students see themselves: smart, thoughtful, resourceful individuals with the ability and courage to forge a unique identity and discover their place in the larger world. Through their gifts, members of the Navigators Club enable our students to fully realize their passion and potential.
At PDS, learning has always been active and engagement prized. Through their gifts, members of the Innovators Club help drive learning that is project based, experiential and authentic.
Gifts at this level from alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years represent a significant endorsement of the school’s people and programs. These young alumni leaders, whether in college, graduate school or beginning a career, demonstrate gratitude for their teachers and the education they received while helping to ensure that PDS remains a place where learning changes lives.