UNDER THE BIG TOP GALA RAISES $550,500 FOR BROWNELL-TALBOT SCHOOL
Friends of Brownell-Talbot School celebrated the School’s 148-year tradition of educational excellence in the Omaha area during this year’s Gala, “Under the Big Top.” The event, held on the B-T campus May 11, raised $550,500 to support Brownell-Talbot School’s general operating budget. The Gala was an evening to remember for more than 440 guests and 95 adult and student volunteers.
Headmaster Dianne Desler, Ringmasters (event chairs) Suellen Willett and Debbie Wood, and Honorary Chairs the Family of Clifton and Anne Batchelder, welcomed guests into the Scott Gymnasium where the silent auction was held. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they bid on more than 500 items displayed. Special guests included incoming Head of School Sylvia Rodríguez Vargas and her husband Brian Vargas.
For dinner, guests moved into the Big Top — a 9,900 square-foot tent where they enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by caterer Hap Abraham.
After dinner, a fun video collage of photos from throughout the school year was shown. The video allows the audience a peek into student life at Brownell-Talbot and honors the Schools’ families and teachers for their positive influence. A second, special video honored Headmaster Dianne Desler who will retire June 30 with more than 42 years of service to the School.
Brownell-Talbot graduate Scott Moore, ’84, conducted the auction. He raised a record a total of $317,000 during the live auction. The auction brought in top bids for such items as:
• Scholarships ($122,000)
• Sponsor Student Programs ($63,000)
• Honor Retiring Headmaster Dianne Desler ($45,800)
• Reserved Parking Spaces ($32,000)
• A Year in the Life of Your Child Photo Package ($14,000)
This year’s Gala steering committee chairs were: Kathy Bartels; Danielle Brown; Jill Bydalek; Laura Crosby; Kathy Emery; Bethany Graves; Sarah Haskell; Tom Kerr; Suzanne Kotula; Liz Mazzotta; Barbara Miller; Jenny Rich; Melissa Schafer; Linda Siffring; Stacy Simon; and Jan Vrana.
With an enrollment of 470 students, several grades have waiting lists for the 2012-2013 school year. Because the School is independent, it receives no funding from the government, or from outside affiliations. Tuition covers only 86 percent of the annual operating budget. The Gala annually helps fulfill the additional funding needs for the School.
At Brownell-Talbot 100 percent of graduating seniors advance to the college or university of their choice. The 32 members of the Class of 2012 have received scholarship offers totaling more than $2.6 million. Graduation requirements, at 250 credit hours, are the highest in the state.
This year’s graduates have been accepted to colleges and universities across the nation and internationally. Those in bold are the colleges students plan to attend:
Academy of Art University, California; Arizona State University (2); Augustana College, South Dakota; Baylor University,Texas; Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts; Brigham Young University, Utah; Case Western Reserve University, Ohio; Centre College, Kentucky; Claflin University, South Carolina; College of William & Mary, Virginia; Colorado School of Mines; Columbia College, Missouri; Columbia University, New York; Cornell College, Iowa; Creighton University, Nebraska (3); Drake University, Iowa; Florida Atlantic University; George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Georgia Southern University; Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota; Harvey Mudd College, California; Hastings College, Nebraska; Hendrix College, Arkansas; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Iowa State University; John Hopkins University, Maryland; Kansas State University; Lawrence University, Wisconsin; Louisiana State University; Loyola University Chicago, Illinois; Loyola University New Orleans, Louisiana; Marymount Manhattan College, New York; Marquette University, Wisconsin; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; McGill University, Quebec, Canada; Midland University, Nebraska; Nebraska Wesleyan University; New York University; Northern Arizona University; Northwest Missouri State University; Northwestern University, Illinois; Nova Southeastern University, Florida; Purdue University, Indiana; Rockhurst University, Missouri (2); St. Lawrence University, New York; St. Louis University, Missouri; School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Southern Methodist University, Texas; Texas Christian University; Trinity University, Texas; University of Chicago, Illinois; University of Colorado at Denver; University of Iowa; University of Kansas; University of Maryland; University of Michigan; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of Nebraska at Omaha; University of Missouri at Columbia; University of Missouri-Kansas City; University of Southern California; University of South Dakota; University of Tampa, Florida; University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Washington University, Missouri; Vanderbilt University, Tennessee; William Jewell College, Missouri; and Xavier University, Ohio.
Brownell-Talbot is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), the State of Nebraska, the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). It is the only private, independent, coeducational college preparatory school in the state and serves preschool through grade 12.