As the school year begins, the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association begins a new year of great work in our academic and alumni communities. SEFAA’s endowments currently total more than $3 million, and we awarded more than 100 scholarships at the end of the 2015 school year to deserving, impressive Salem High School graduates.
In addition to our annual scholarship awards, we are about to induct 21 new members into our Hall of Fame, and will be instituting a new program called Champions for Children to honor valued, important members of our community who contribute to our children’s education in countless ways including teaching, school service, educational and city leadership, faith-based, health and legal services, athletics, social services, media and the arts.
We’ve launched this new website and a new donor management program and created opportunities for online donation, putting technology at the service of the goals and purposes of the SEFAA. Please take the time to register as a member of your class so that we can keep you up to speed on the latest Salem educational and alumni community developments.
This year has also brought its share of tragedy and sadness, including the death of Adam Ward, son of Buddy Ward who is a beloved retired Salem school teacher and guidance counselor. In Adam’s memory, the family established an endowment and due to the generous outpouring of support, I am pleased to announce that SEFAA will award the Adam Ward Memorial Scholarship at the graduation ceremony in 2016. Already, the donations have exceeded $20,000.
This summer also brought the sad news of the passing of SEFAA’s founder, Dr. Richard H. Fisher who, along with six other charter members, led the Foundation as its President, set its course, and it is in his memory that we continue the legacy he began.
On behalf of the entire volunteer Board, we hope that you will continue to support educational opportunities for children in Salem City schools through the work of the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association. We are grateful to the families and businesses who create new scholarship opportunities for our students and are happy to discuss with you opportunities for charitable giving.
Here’s to a great school year, and a continued bright future for our Salem students, families, teachers and staff.
Thomas R. “Tommy” McDonald III