Greetings from Walther, where we are just starting our 69th school year! In another year of Covid, we have managed to negotiate the world and graduate more students, students who were just like you. Students who have hopes and dreams for their future lives, just like you did. Whether it was a few years ago or a few decades ago, Walther has always been committed to high standards in academics, and has excelled in our music, arts, athletics and extracurricular clubs. This school is where you made friends, grew spiritually, and had teachers who encouraged you. And even if you didn’t know it while here, behind the school supporting this community were alumni who walked these halls before you, supporting Walther through setting up scholarship funds, donating to our appeals, volunteering as board members and advisors, or speaking on Career Day.
In the past year, more and more alumni have re-engaged with Walther. They have read our monthly newsletter “We Are Walther,” checked out our new website with a responsive design that is easier to navigate, donated to our year-end and semi-annual appeals by setting up recurring gifts, or attended one of our events.
It’s easy to understand that life is busy and Walther Christian Academy is in the rear-view mirror, but maybe this is your moment to reflect that Walther gave you a foundation for your future. And that our students, who come from 50 zip codes throughout Chicagoland deserve the same opportunity you had. We are a more diverse community when many of you attended, but our mission remains front and center in all that we do, and this school is still your community!
If all our alumni chose to give back to this school today, we would be able to increase our efforts to attract more students. If all our alumni set up recurring gifts on our website (weekly, monthly or quarterly) our administration could guarantee increasing teacher and staff salaries each year. If all our alumni put Walther Christian Academy in their wills, we could ensure that the aging building would continue to be upgraded.
So today, will you Take the Alumni Challenge? Will you please show your gratitude by supporting Walther?
This year, all alumni regardless of the amount donated will have their names on the alumni section of our website for one year, until the next Alumni Appeal. Your name will also be on our donor recognition page in the next fiscal year’s Annual Report. (You can read the current Annual Report on our website.) Furthermore, every alum who donates will be given a zoom link to reconnect with their classmates on Friday, September 23, the night before our Homecoming Game. The Head of School/Principal Tim Bouman and I will be hosting alumni at the school, and if you live nearby, please join us for a taco dinner ($25 per person) and a chance to walk the halls you did as a student. Otherwise, if you live out of state, you will still feel a part of this community from your computer! Come back and meet both staff and teachers!
I am also asking for volunteers for the creation of an Alumni Speaker Program which will happen virtually throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to highlight the work that you do and to learn and connect with others. Just like in Universities, this program will give you networking opportunities. Once I have volunteers, I will put the details on the alumni section of our website. If you are interested, please email me at Sally_Ruecking@WaltherAcademy.org
On the enclosed response card, you can donate to the Alumni Campaign 2022 which will provide unrestricted revenue to the school, or you can choose to purchase a paver to honor your time here. The revenue from your paver will help with our on-going building and landscaping needs and will leave a permanent memory on our walkway off of Chicago Avenue.
Nathan, a 2022 graduate has this to say about his school: “Walther has shaped me by helping me grow more confident as a person by giving me opportunities to try new things I wouldn’t have thought of trying. Walther has helped me understand the love of God and what it means to me, and gives me hope. During my time at Walther, I enjoyed Jazz Band, Drama, Aura Club and Art Club the most.” Last year, 208 out of 270 students were supported with scholarships and grant-in-aid to make sure they could attend this school.
So, will you take the Alumni Challenge this year? Will you take that extra step to help ensure that Walther Christian Academy remains here for many more generations of students, students just like you?
Yours in Christ,
Sally A. Ruecking
Director of Advancement