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
Gretel Schatz

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

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

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

Faculty Profiles

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.


“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”


In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.


"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 


"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."


"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."


"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."


"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."


 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."


“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”


Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”


"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!’”


“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 


“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”


“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”


“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles