2016 Founders' Challenge

The First Annual NMH Founders’ Challenge was a huge success!

Founders' Challenge 2016 Victory Party: Thanks to all 250+ donors who joined Pres '34 and Helen Blake at their magnificent Monticello property last June to cap off a historic NMH effort. Enjoy photos from the evening.

From February 3 to 6, NMH challenged our community to honor all founders connected to NMH — past, present, and future — by making a gift to the NMH Fund. We celebrated the birthday of D.L. Moody, who founded NMH in 1879.

In addition, we celebrated the 101st birthday of S. Prestley Blake ’34, one of NMH’s most entrepreneurial and generous alumni, who co-founded the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation in 1935. Pres is the 2016 #FeaturedFounder, the first alum to receive what will be an annual recognition given to a founder connected to NMH. Read more about Pres Blake.

From the beginning, D.L. Moody recognized the importance of philanthropy, and Pres Blake has lived up to D.L.’s standards. In honor of Blake’s 101st birthday, we hoped to raise 101 gifts in 101 hours from 10 groups in the NMH community.

Read about our Fellow Founders, people connected to NMH who have founded organizations or businesses.

Here’s how the Founders’ Challenge worked:

101 hours of online fundraising, Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Saturday, Feb. 6
101 gifts per decade: 2010s, 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, Grands (1930s, ’40s, ’50s)
101 gifts from parents, parents of alumni, and grandparents
101 gifts from the NMH community (current and former employees, current students)
101 gifts from the Class of 2016
A total of 1,010 gifts for the NMH Fund

We did it. Together.

Many thanks to the entire NMH community.

In less than the full 101 hours of the Founders' Challenge, alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends came together to have some fun and made 1,782 gifts to the NMH Fund, far exceeding our goal of 1,010 gifts.

We raised a total of $222,707 (not including Pres's gift) from these community members:

Long live the spirit of D.L. Moody, who founded NMH in 1879
Taylor King

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Nhu Hoang

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Gretel Schatz, Director of the Dance program, instructs a dance student.

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.


“The best thing about NMH is the connections you make.” 


“NMH challenges students to innovate and persevere while keeping in mind the effects of our actions on the community."


“This community gives me the resources to grow as a student and discover passions I never knew I had.” 


“I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed, thanks to NMH.”


"I love the freedom I have to explore what I am passionate about."


"NMH gives us space to experiment and gradually to grow into ourselves."


"I noticed how welcoming everyone was when I first came to campus.”


“The first step to excelling at NMH is embracing your own individuality.” 


“I appreciate the bond faculty and students have at NMH.”


"The community at NMH is unlike any I’ve ever known, and for that I am grateful.”


"NMH allows me to be myself in the classroom and ensures I am an articulate, curious, and courageous student.”


“I was initially surprised by how relaxed, yet academic, the environment is."


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”