Message from the Campaign Chair


This is a monumental moment in Newark Academy’s history and an amazing opportunity for those who believe in what we do. Driven by a distinctive mission, and uplifted by centuries of shared history, we provide a transformative experience for our students.

Not since our move to Livingston in 1964, however, has there been a more perfect time to reinvent Newark Academy—not our approach to education but rather the places where learning takes flight. We also have a wonderful opportunity to better support deserving students for whom Newark Academy is out of financial reach.

As a cohesive community, we have come together to envision tomorrow’s Newark Academy. You can help us fulfill our vision and make a measurable difference in the lives of our students. By helping us revitalize our physical plant and grow our endowment, you will be helping to make possible the most meaningful effort we have undertaken in 50 years.

Newark Academy would not be what it is today without the forward-thinking alumni and parents of yesterday. To transform tomorrow, we must begin now, with Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy. Please consider supporting Newark Academy; help us today for the sake of tomorrow’s students—and ultimately tomorrow’s society.

Jeff Kaplan Campaign Chair

Campaign Executive Committee & Volunteers

campaign executive committee

  • Jeffrey KaplanChair, Rise & Flourish Campaign Trustee and alumni parent
  • Donald M. AustinHead of School and alumni parent
  • Marika Alzadon ’89Trustee and current parent
  • Lara J. Basile ’88Trustee and current parent
  • Larry Cetrulo ’67Trustee
  • Cuong DoTrustee and current parent
  • David McGraw ’77Chairman, Board of Trustees, current parent
  • Jonathan D. Olesky ’74Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, alumni parent
  • Melissa TasséTrustee and alumni parent
  • Gayle WieseneckCurrent parent


  • Lori Kany
    Susan Ratner
    Parent Chairs
  • Carrie & Ken Somberg
    Phil Waldorf
    Alumni Parent Chairs
  • John Bess ’69
    Sam Croll ’68
    Alex Senchak ’02
    Alumni Chairs
  • William D. Green ’69
    Gary Rose
    Former Trustee Chairs
  • Tom Ashburn
    Candice Powell
    Jeffrey Vinikoor
    Faculty & Staff Chair

Message from the Head of School


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I believe Newark Academy is a microcosm of what we would all like to see the world become. When you invest in Newark Academy, you invest in the future leaders of society. I invite you to be a part of this defining moment in our history: Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy.

Donald M. AustinHead of School

Established just before the Revolutionary War began, Newark Academy promoted enlightenment and inclusivity. Our founders believed that students of all backgrounds could be educated to become engaged citizens—a value that has been explicitly demonstrated over the last two decades. We enjoy record application numbers. Our students are thriving in a balanced program that combines first-rate academics with high-quality arts and athletics. New initiatives are reinforcing our historic commitment to diversity, to global citizenship, and to experiential learning.

As a result, Newark Academy graduates have been transformed from promising young people to thoughtful, productive citizens who succeed not only in college but also in life. We fulfill our mission by graduating engaged individuals with a passion for learning, a standard of excellence, and a generosity of spirit.

Because of this mission, our caring community, and our devotion to excellence, today’s students both rise and flourish in our nearly 50-year-old facility. They shine on the field and on the stage and are excited by the possibilities new spaces offer. Though many receive financial assistance, many more will benefit when we increase our endowment from adequate to robust. Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy is about making an already wonderful place even better, honoring our heritage, and providing the best possible experience for today’s and tomorrow’s students.

Campaign FAQs


  1. Why should I support this campaign?

    Answer: The initiatives that Rise & Flourish is supporting were identified through a lengthy process that included the development of a campus master plan, the Academy’s most recent accreditation study and the development of NA’s strategic plan. From those planning tools came an enormous list of projects that were then put into priority order by NA’s Board of Trustees. The four top capital project priorities were selected to be funded by Rise & Flourish. Then, in keeping with an institutional commitment to increase the endowment, the campaign goal was expanded to include endowed funds for financial aid and faculty support.

    The initiatives being funded through Rise & Flourish are true needs, not luxuries. The capital projects include the first improvements to the academic spaces at Newark Academy since moving to the Livingston campus in 1964. The improvements to arts and athletics spaces are necessitated by the growing strength of these programs and the need to remain competitive with peer institutions.

  2. How will my gift impact Newark Academy?

    Answer: Every gift to Rise & Flourish will have direct impact on Newark Academy students—those currently in the building and those to come. New classrooms and science labs will ensure that students and faculty have flexible and inspiring spaces, designed for 21st century teaching and learning. The Middle School project will provide a critically needed facility, dedicated to the needs of students in grades 6 through 8. All students—regardless of their levels of involvement—will benefit from the renovations to outdoor athletic facilities and Rose Auditorium as both spaces are widely used by students in all grade levels.

    Gifts to the endowment also significantly impact the Newark Academy community. The Academy’s ability to remain affordable, to attract top students regardless of income level, and to recruit and retain its outstanding faculty are all directly related to the strength of NA’s endowment.

  3. How will Newark Academy manage my gift?

    Answer: Donors to Rise & Flourish may designate their gift to any of the projects within the scope of the campaign. Support for capital projects goes directly to the cost of design, construction and/or furnishing of the facilities. The initiation of construction for each project is dependent upon two factors:

    • 50 percent of the total cost of the project must be committed in gifts and/or pledges before construction begins; and
    • 100 percent of the costs of any previous construction project must be funded before construction begins on the next project.

    Newark Academy has no long-term debt and will not take on long-term debt (bond funding, etc.) to fund these projects.

    Gifts to the endowment are managed by NA’s Investment Spending policy and are under the auspices of NA’s Trustee-level Investments Committee. An outside fund management firm (New Providence Asset Management) is engaged by the Investments Committee to provide day-to-day oversight of the endowment.

  4. Can I designate my gift to a specific project?

    Answer: Yes. Donors can restrict their total gift or a portion of their gift to specific projects within the scope of Rise & Flourish. As per Newark Academy’s Gift Acceptance Policy, designated gifts may be restricted to the project or program but may not direct specifically how that gift is spent within the project. (For example, the donor can designate a gift to Rose Auditorium but cannot dictate what sort of sound system is purchased.)

  5. Why (and how) was I selected to be asked to make a gift?

    Answer: Over the seven-year life of Rise & Flourish, virtually every member of the Newark Academy community will be asked to support the campaign. Your level of engagement and involvement to NA, along with your previous financial support of NA are factors in when you may be asked to support the campaign.

  6. Who else has given to Rise & Flourish?

    Answer: Donors began making gift/pledges to Rise & Flourish in May 2010. The first group of donors came from Newark Academy’s Board of Trustees. One hundred percent (100%) of the Board of Trustees has made a gift to the campaign. Since May 2010, more than 400 gifts have been made totaling more than $29 million. Many of the gifts to date have exceeded $100,000. These gifts have come from current parents, grandparents, alumni and foundations.

  7. Who is leading Rise & Flourish?

    Answer: Along with Head of School Don Austin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees David McGraw ’77, and campaign chair Jeff Kaplan, a volunteer group called the Campaign Executive Committee is leading Rise & Flourish. The committee includes:
    • Marika Alzadon ’89 – Alumna & Parent
    • Lara J. Basile ’88 – Alumna & Parent
    • Larry Cetrulo ’67 – Alumnus
    • Cuong Do – Trustee & Parent
    • Jonathan D. Olesky ’74 – Alumnus & Alum Parent
    • Melissa Tassé – Trustee & Parent
    • Gayle Wieseneck – Parent
    • Betsy A. Zimmerman – Parent

  8. How can my gift to Rise & Flourish be paid?

    Answer: Donors are encouraged to make a gift commitment over five years to Rise & Flourish. Once the gift commitment is made, Newark Academy will send you a gift intention form that you must sign and return to the Office of Institutional Advancement. In your gift intention form you will have the opportunity to designate your gift and to indicate your preferred payment schedule.

    Payments to Rise & Flourish may be made in the form of cash, transfers of appreciated securities, real estate or other forms of real property, charitable gift annuity, bequest or by making the Academy the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement account.