Foundation Board


The Importance of Growing the Endowment

Endowment is vital to Chesapeake Academy’s financial stability, and therefore, to fulfilling the school’s mission. The ability to initiate and sustain educational programs and services to meet the primary objective, preparing students to be well-rounded young adults, is essential. To accomplish programmatic flexibility without raising tuition significantly is equally important, for tuition costs directly affect Chesapeake’s enrollment and competitive edge in relation to other school choices in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. In 1980 the Chesapeake Academy Foundation, Inc. was formed to build an endowment; the primary focus of the Foundation is to support Chesapeake Academy. By policy 5% of the 3-year trailing average is distributed to the Academy for designated use. The present value of the Chesapeake Academy Foundation’s endowment is approximately $813,000 (June 2013).

Local economic fluctuation, changing demographics, and untimely major plant repairs are some of the stresses that have taxed the finances of Chesapeake Academy. America’s leading independent schools seek to maintain an endowment of $25,000 per student. A significant increase in the endowment will strengthen the balance sheet and provide necessary funding to fulfill the strategic plan of Chesapeake Academy.

In addition to the current advancement program raising approximately $400,000 a year in unrestricted and designated funds for the operating budget (Annual Fund and fund raisers), the Academy’s goal is to raise additional endowment contributions. The Foundation currently has three endowed scholarship funds (Catherine E. Schroeder, C. Jackson Simmons, and H. Hiter Harris Family Scholarships) and two restricted endowment funds (Buildings & Grounds Fund for paving; Development Fund for Planned Giving) in addition to the Unrestricted Endowment. Annual allocations are coordinated with the Business and Development Offices at the Academy, and the Foundation Board reviews all funds annually, with updates presented quarterly. As the Academy’s accrediting body, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools requires both the Academy and the Foundation to have an independent audit each year.

The Endowment is overseen by a 9-member volunteer board (two of whom are ex-officio), elected by the Chesapeake Academy Board of Trustees to serve multiple three year terms. Officers are elected annually by the Foundation Board. Peter J. Cammarata is currently the President of the Foundation Board. The Foundation Board meets 3 times a year.

  • Peter J. Cammarata, President
  • Charles C. Chase
  • Lance Franke
  • D. Randolph Graham
  • W. Bruce Sanders
  • Joseph A. Sarnowski
  • Jeffrey M. Szyperski

Ex Officio Members

  • Deborah M. Cook, Head of School
  • Brownie T. Watkins, Board Chair