Just a little more than a year ago, Middlesex was invited to apply for a $500,000 grant from the Mary Mae Foundation, a nonprofit that fosters academic excellence at select independent schools by helping to fund the construction of faculty homes.
With that funding secured – and greatly augmented with gifts from several Middlesex families, who enthusiastically responded to the project’s needs – the School held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Mary Mae Village on September 22, 2012. “How grateful we are to you for your leadership,” said Board President Pete Olney ’66 to those donors present for the occasion. “Key to our residential program is faculty members who live – and enjoy living – with students. We want to acknowledge your generosity because these homes are pivotal to the mission of our school.”
As Head of School Kathy Giles noted, boarding schools have known that it “takes a village to raise a child” long before the phrase became popular. “For faculty members, the lines between home and work blur all the time,” she elaborated. “Learning takes place everywhere on campus, including in the living rooms and kitchens of faculty homes.”
In order for faculty to give of themselves so extensively, Mrs. Giles said, they must feel that their own families are cared for, safe, and comfortable. “These homes are a statement from our school community to our faculty members that the safety and comfort of faculty families are recognized as important and valuable by the larger parent community.” In addition to acknowledging the major contributors on hand, Mrs. Giles gave special thanks to Jeanne Jessup, executive director of the Mary Mae Foundation, who could not be in attendance but who has been an invaluable resource throughout the grant application and project development process.
Sited in an old apple orchard across from the School’s main entrance, the five new homes will be modest in size and efficient in their use of space and energy. If construction plans continue to proceed on schedule, the Mary Mae Village should be ready for occupancy next summer.
If you'd like to see a a layout of Mary Mae Village with some additional background information, please click here.