A Tradition of Philanthropy
Friends Seminary was founded through the generous $10,000 bequest of Quaker merchant and farmer, Robert Murray (of Murray Hill). In more recent history, the generosity and dedication of Friends families and alumni have helped the School grow and develop.
In 1860, the Religious Society of Friends purchased land on Stuyvesant Square. The Meetinghouse, the Central Building and the School Building were erected in 1861 at a cost of $123,110 with significant contributions from the Friends school community.
In 1928, the School paid $100,000 for significant renovation of the three original buildings.
The SEEKING EXCELLENCE Campaign of the early 1960s raised $1.25 million towards the building of Hunter Hall.
The THIRD CENTURY CAMPAIGN of the mid-1980s raised more than $2 million—the incubator of the Friends Seminary permanent endowment.
In the mid-1990s, the SEEKING THE LIGHT Campaign secured the purchase and renovation of the 15th Street Annex, built the rooftop playground and raised essential funds for technology and endowment through gifts, which totaled more than $6 million.
The LIFT EVERY VOICE Campaign, 2006–2010, set a new benchmark of philanthropic support for the School, exceeding its goal and raising more than $20 million for endowment, programmatic initiatives and the renovation of Hunter Hall. The first $1 million gift was pledged to this campaign. Among many other initiatives, the campaign was responsible for the relocation and expansion of the library, seven new classrooms, the James and Mimi Rosenquist Gallery, the addition of Arabic to the curriculum, and the Visiting Scholar Program.
The 225th ANNIVERSARY ENDOWMENT INITIATIVE in 2011–12 raised more than $5 million, including a $2 million gift, the largest gift the School had received at that time.