As the world propels us forward to what we all hope will be a better year, many of us have found ourselves reflecting on the past. I hope that one of your fond memories are of the years you spent at Walther Christian Academy. You are, in part, who you are now because of this school. In the past year, I have spoken to so many alumni who have told me that their education, friendships, and values at Walther opened so many doors and allowed them to grow spiritually. If you follow our monthly WE ARE WALTHER newsletter, you have probably read some of the stories.
Many of you who graduated when the school’s name was Walther Lutheran High School and have asked if we are still a Lutheran-led school. The answer is yes. Our accreditation is by the National Lutheran School Association that “encourages, assists, and recognizes schools that provide quality Christian education and engage in continuous improvement.” Our mission is always front and center in everything we do: “We nurture individualized academic excellence and spiritual growth in a Christ-centered, diverse learning community.” We are very proud of our dedicated teachers and staff who nurture our students who come from 50 zip codes throughout Chicagoland. Some of our families are from under-served neighborhoods, and are here thanks to the nearly $500,000 that is awarded to students as scholarships and grant-in aid yearly.
This year, more than ever, we need your support, and we have choices for you to make when you decide to give. Even if you are a recent graduate, supporting Walther at any level, including $10 a month will help to ensure the future of so many more students! And if you graduated many years ago, please become a legacy donor now so that you can experience the joy of supporting this wonderful school!
- Leave a legacy for Walther by including the school in your will. It’s as simple as indicating an amount or a portion of your estate. If you need help with your estate the school has trustworthy partners that can help guide you. Once you have made a decision, please put your intention to leave a legacy gift to Walther in writing and give the Director of Advancement a copy.
- Our school building is aging, and we need to keep up with the infrastructure in order to stay safe, remain competitive with other area private schools, and to look attractive for potential families and their students. In the past year, thanks to a major gift and generous donors who purchased pavers, we have been able to upgrade and landscape our fields and school grounds. Our list is long, but our windows need replacing with commercial-grade tinted glass, our building needs painting, and there are numerous repairs both inside and out that need to be addressed. If you decide to purchase a paver for $200, your donation will go in this fund. If you are interested in helping, please indicate that your gift will go to our Landscaping and Building Fund/Alumni Campaign.
- We are in need of unrestricted funds to increase teacher salaries, offer tuition based scholarships to students, purchase supplies and support all of our programs both in-school and extra-curricular. Our needs are on-going, especially in the past year when so many families struggled to pay tuition. If you are interested in helping, please indicate that your gift will go to our Annual Fund/Alumni Campaign.
Finally, plans are underway for our Homecoming Game on Saturday, September 25, which is a day game, and class representatives are going to gather both on Friday, September 24 for homecoming activities that will be coordinated by our current student council, and on Saturday for the game. The Class of 1971 is busy already making plans for their 50th reunion! If you are planning a 10 year, 20, 30 or 40 reunion, please email me. I can assist with email addresses for your classmates. Tim Bouman, our Head of School, and I are planning to conduct tours of the grounds and school. We know you will be happy with our new paver walk which already has had two installations of pavers set in. If you were a class officer, now is the time to plan an in-person or even a virtual reunion. Even if your class does not have an organized reunion, ALL Walther alumni can take a tour and attend the game. (And, we hope you do attend!)
To set up a virtual reunion, please coordinate with me to set up a time to host and to discuss a theme, if this will be a fundraising event as a group or a fee for individual participation. Walther has an unlimited Zoom account and I will be happy to facilitate your event. Please note: we also have a live-streaming platform so that you can watch our game from your phone or computer, so you can feel like you are here, even from far away!
Whatever you plans are to reconnect and stay engaged with Walther, I hope that if you live close, you support our school athletics, our wonderful concerts and theatrical productions, and visit us to see our beautiful grounds, our new busses that were leased last fall, and to take a photograph of yourself or your loved ones on our paver walkway, which leads from Chicago Avenue to the Main Entrance.
Here is what one alum has to say about his Walther experience:
“ My teachers gave me a lot of guidance outside the classroom and helped me to grow to become who I am today.” -Nicholas Winkelman, Class of 2020
Thank you for being a part of our Walther Forever-Family. The road ahead promises to be exciting yet challenging as we adapt to meet current needs, and as our financial picture shifts to accommodate the future. We are STILL here-because of all of you and your continued support and prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Sally A. Ruecking
Director of Advancement