People and Perspectives
The Evolution of a Legacy
Profiling Outgoing Board Chair Cindy TRIPP ’82
Having served on the Board of Governors as its Chair since September 2014, Cindy TRIPP ’82 has enjoyed leading the school through a series of exciting changes and unprecedented achievements. What’s on the list? The debut of the Intersection campaign with its bold goal of raising $35 million to support innovation in girls’ education; the school’s first Diversity and Inclusion Statement; a world-class international Head of School search; the celebration of the school’s 150th anniversary; the opening of a spectacular new 61,000 square foot learning space, as well as the renovation of approximately 28,000 square feet; and more recently creating new Strategic Directions focused on learning and well-being.
It’s been a time of transformation and growth, to say the least.
“I am equally proud of the work the Board has done as I am of the whole BSS community for its support and generosity,” says Cindy. “The Board is charged with ensuring the sustainability and longevity of BSS, and every member has enthusiastically taken on that responsibility. But nothing of substance happens without the gifts of time, expertise and money made by so many families and friends of the school. A board can only effectively lead when the whole community unites in a shared vision, which is exactly what I experienced.”
As an alumna, a year rep for the Class of ’82, a parent of Annie BORIGHT ’13, a former Chair of the House and Property Committee, and a former member of the Financial Assistance Review, Nomination of Governance and Finance committees, Cindy’s gratitude inspires her sense of service.
“BSS has been an important part of my life for a long time, so I was honoured to take on the role of Board Chair at the launch of the Intersection campaign, which was initiated by past Head of School, Deryn Lavell. It’s the largest campaign in BSS history and has raised $34.1 million to date.”
Those funds support a state-of-the-art building, ongoing innovations in teaching and learning, and a growing Financial Assistance program.
“An amazing campus is nothing if we’re not equally attentive to what goes on within it. Our teachers need to have access to funding to ensure the programming is as exceptional as the space. In addition, we want the most promising girls to have access to a BSS education, so we place a high value on funding financial assistance. During my term, the Board doubled our commitment to the Financial Assistance program. The program is now $1.65 million with 9.5% of Middle and Senior School students supported by some form of tuition assistance. The Board also helped craft the BSS Diversity and Inclusion Statement, which emphasizes the importance of the diverse perspectives that strengthen and enrich our community.”
With such an impressive legacy, what does Cindy look back on with the greatest satisfaction?
“To be honest, my greatest achievement was getting the building finished and funded. My greatest satisfaction came from working with so many fantastic people, without whom I could not have accomplished this. I have gained so much as a person – much more than I gave, I am sure! Most of all, I have learned that the combined power of this community really is much greater than the sum of its individual parts.”
Looking forward, Cindy will be engaging in more board work and hopes to spearhead a new BSS initiative.
“The plan is still in development. But the overall idea is to introduce a speaker series that invites influential female leaders across a range of industries to share their journey with our students. The path to success for many leaders is nonlinear and not necessarily what students expect. My aim is to open up their minds to the possibilities out there, by showcasing a variety of careers with a focus on the unique experience of each individual leader. If students can see the steps women take toward a life of accomplishment, they can then imagine themselves on similar paths. BSS girls, and others around the city, need exposure to these leaders, and this program will provide a unique ‘behind the scenes’ perspective. Stay tuned!”
Karen Sumner, Ph.D., is co-owner of the freelance writing company Sumner & Lang.