About the Campaign

The Next Peak

To tend, to protect, to imagine the future of Thacher—that’s been the charge of those who love the School for over 125 years.
Since its earliest days, when Casa de Piedra was little more than a citrus ranch where a handful of boys studied and enjoyed “out-of-door life” under the guidance of Sherman Day Thacher, our School has been protected, buoyed, and bettered by its community. Parents, friends, alumni, neighbors—again and again, they’ve stepped up and helped to leave Thacher a little better than they found it.

The work of building on Mr. Thacher’s vision for our school in the Ojai Valley is, of course, never done. We know what those before us knew: Excellence is perishable. The world we send our graduates into is always evolving, and we must, too—or risk falling behind. That’s why we continue to train our sights down the trail, where the next peak, the next uphill climb, awaits. Along the way we draw on our deeply rooted core strengths; upon arrival, we carefully consider the perspective gained from a new vantage point. In this way, we work to cultivate the next generation of resilient, compassionate, curious, and hard-working men and women who are ready for the world of the 21st century. That’s what this campaign— The Next Peak—is all about.

With your help, we aim to fund six initiatives in support of the people, programs, and places that make Thacher, Thacher. Springing from years of strategic planning by the School’s leaders, the campaign is ultimately an investment in one thing: transforming students’ lives and futures.

Many of you helped create who we are today. We hope all of you will join us in creating who we will be tomorrow.

Six Pillars of the Campaign

List of 6 items.

  • Securing access and affordability

  • Supporting faculty and strengthening teaching

  • Upgrading facilities

  • Advancing program initiatives

  • Supporting environmental sustainability

  • Ensuring financial robustness

Thanks to the members of our community who have already joined us on this journey, we’ve made good progress toward our goals. But this final leg of the campaign will be the most difficult. Each and every gift will help determine whether a transformative initiative is realized—or postponed indefinitely.

About the Campaign

Where We’re Going

Today’s research validates much of Mr. Thacher’s original vision for the School over 125 years ago; the values and philosophies that have always been at the heart of a Thacher education are now widely considered key to cultivating both excellence and fulfillment in students.
He believed in developing resilience and grit through calibrated challenges and positive risk-taking; in placing strong relationships at the center of learning; and in trusting the transformative power of the horse and the backcountry trail. We still believe in these things. It’s why this campaign is about investing rigorously in what Thacher has always stood for while ensuring that we continue to serve the needs of a changing world.

Our roadmap is clear. A more robust financial aid program will open our doors wider for promising applicants and make for a diverse learning environment that’s more like a microcosm of the world. Investments in professional development, sabbatical opportunities, and teaching fellowships will ensure that we continue to hire and foster talented teachers who change lives. Facilities projects will catalyze community gathering and engagement, innovative interdisciplinary curriculum, and big reductions in our environmental footprint. Sustainability innovations will make our campus a living laboratory for environmental education and a model for sustainable schools.
We will succeed not by dollar amount alone but by the degree to which individuals in the Thacher community feel connected to one another in decades to come.

About the Campaign

How We’ll Get There

What is Thacher but a community of individuals who have each left the School a little better than they found it?
Thanks to that community—thanks to you—the School is as strong and healthy as it’s ever been.

But we’re also at a critical juncture, one where we’re best served by reaching toward the next peak and heeding the familiar call to “do the best work in the world that we can, till the best we can do is all done.” Thacher thrives today because those before us rolled up their sleeves and got to work safeguarding and improving a School that makes a profound and lasting impression on its students. We hope we can count on the Thacher community of today to do the same. For the lifelong relationships you forged; for the person this School helped you become; for the Thacher sons and daughters you’re raising; and for the Thacher graduates that give us all greater hope for the future—take this ride with us.

Campaign News

About the Campaign

Campaign Leadership

We are pleased to announce that the following alumni, current parents, parents of alumni, and grandparents have agreed to serve as chairs of the public phase of our capital campaign. On behalf of everyone at Thacher, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to these leaders for their willingness to serve. 
Campaign Chair Janet A. Carroll Richardson CdeP 1983 P ’15 ’17
Chair of the Board of Trustees Daniel W. Yih P ’10 ’12 ’15  

Campaign Honorary Chairs
Cabot Brown CdeP 1979 P ’15
Reid W. Dennis CdeP 1944 P ’67 ’74 GP ’03 ’07
Marshall C. Milligan CdeP 1969 P ’00 ’02
Justin M. Faggioli CdeP 1969 P ’00 ’02
Riley P. Bechtel CdeP 1970 P ’99 ’00 ’03
Sarah E. Lavender Smith CdeP 1986 P ’16 ’19
Andrew R. Shakman CdeP 1990
Daniel W. Yih P ’10 ’12 ’15 
Randy Labbe CdeP 1960 P 87 90 97
1960s Campaign Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Nicholas S. Thacher CdeP 1963
Robert K. Gardner CdeP 1960 P ’99 ’00
Jeffrey H. Frank CdeP 1964
Neal Howe CdeP 1969 P ’13

1970s Campaign Committee
Campaign Co-Chair T. Newlin Hastings Jr. CdeP 1970 P ’99 ’02
Edward L. Cahill CdeP 1970 P ’99 ’01 ’03 ’05
Bryan N. Beckham CdeP 1974 P ’14
Paul L. Yelder CdeP 1977
Reza Zafari CdeP 1978

1980s Campaign Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Christina L. Chiu Alfandary CdeP 1985
Weston Richardson CdeP 1980 P ’15 ’17
Emily Williamson Hancock CdeP 1983 P ’10 ’12 ’13
Jonathan Twichell CdeP 1983 P ’17 ’19
Launce L. Gamble CdeP 1984 P ’16 ’18
Sophia L. Brown Twichell CdeP 1985 P ’17 ’19
Jaime K. Araujo CdeP 1988

1990s Campaign Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Eric B. Dachs CdeP 1994
Laura K. Van Winkle James CdeP 1993
Alec H. Perkins CdeP 1991
E. Brian Krumrei IV CdeP 1995
Brooke L. MacDonald Moorhead CdeP 1999 
2000s Campaign Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Sarah S. Shaikh CdeP 2003
Lucy Milligan Wahl CdeP 2000
Patricia R. Abou-Samra Kearney CdeP 2002
Peter C. Oberndorf CdeP 2004
William J. Dawson V CdeP 2009

Parents Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Scott C. Brittingham P ’17 ’20
John J. Pierrepont P ’16 ’18
Holly J. and John L. Hancock P ’18
Lisa Wallmark and Jonas Svensson P ’20
Jennifer B. and Scott L. Gwilliam P ’19

Parents of Alumni Committee
Campaign Co-Chair Derek G. Kirkland P ’09 ’12 ’15
Brian P. Driscoll P ’13 ’15
Mary N. and Mark R. Hoffman P ’10

Grandparents Committee
Campaign Co-Chairs Esther and Thomas Wachtell GP ’13 ’15 ’19
Frederick C. Twichell P ’83 ’85 ’86 GP ’17 ’19

Boot Hill Committee
Toby Rosenblatt CdeP 1956
John G. Lewis CdeP 1959 P ’89 
Thanks also to the tireless work of The Thacher School's current leadership and board of trustees.
Back-to-School Playbook for the 2020-2021 School Year
The Thacher School
5025 Thacher Road
Ojai, California, 93023

Tel : 805-646-4377

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.