Annual Giving Program Initiatives
Taipei American School relies on gifts to the Annual Giving Program to fund initiatives for our students that would otherwise not be possible. Your gift can be designated toward one or a combination of five different initiatives. The initiatives are Program Excellence, Professional Excellence, Building Excellence, Quasi Endowment, and our funding priority this year – the Hope N.F. Phillips Scholarship Fund.
Program and Professional Excellence
Gifts to Program and Professional Excellence are reflected in the achievements of our students, the development of programs, the expansion of unique learning opportunities schoolwide, and the professional development that keeps faculty inspired and at the forefront of their field. You can see excellence in action through programs everywhere on campus – in the classrooms, laboratories, performance spaces, and sports facilities. TAS is dedicated to recruiting, developing, and retaining engaged and innovative subject matter experts who in turn have a direct impact on exceptional student learning, and supporting faculty to attend conferences and integrate cutting-edge technology requires commitment and resources.
Your support enables us to capitalize on the excellent education we offer and to carry the school to even greater heights. In the past couple of years, gifts to Program and Professional Excellence supported:
Joanna Nichols Visiting Scholar Mr. Mike Chinoy spent the month of January at TAS. Mr. Chinoy was TAS’ first ever Joanna Nichols Visiting Scholar during the 2011-2012 school year. A long-time foreign correspondent and CNN’s first Beijing bureau chief, Mr. Chinoy is currently a Senior Fellow at the USC US-China Institute.
When travel restrictions precluded Mr. Kirt Mosier from spending the month of April in Taiwan as the 2019-2020 Joanna Nichols Artist in Residence, the TAS Performing Arts Department reached out to Ms. Shou-Ling Wu, proud parent of a TAS alumnus and the former associate conductor of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Wu seamlessly stepped into life at TAS and worked with Grade 8 chorus, upper school choirs, and the upper school orchestra on Franz Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major.
Annual giving supported several additional curricular needs in the athletics program, including the purchase of several additional soccer goals, an Aquam Sanio pace clock, HUDL packages for game and statistics analysis, judges and catering for the TAS Holiday Tournament, and more!
TAS continue to invest in its award-winning film program. Last year, the School purchased new cameras, batteries, cables, memory cars, storage equipment, and support for the student trip to the All-American High School Film festival in New York City.
The School welcomed back former Upper School principal, Dr. Richard Hartzell, as the first-ever Richard K.F. Soong Lecturer in Humanities. Dr. Hartzell worked with students in AP English Literature classes as well as AP History of Art classes.
Funds supported the Upper School production of “The Miracle Worker,” visiting performing group The Idea of North, and other equipment purchases for technical theater and dance.
Stanley ’88 and Annabelle Ko Classics Scholars in Residence Josiah Ober and Adrienne Mayor visited our school to work with our students in the Classics program. Josiah Ober is an American historian of ancient Greece and classical political theorist. He is a professor of classics and political science at Stanford University. Adrienne Mayor is a historian of ancient science and a classical folklorist. Mayor specializes in ancient history and the study of “folk science,” or how pre-scientific cultures interpreted data about the natural world, and how these interpretations form the basis of many ancient myths, folklore and popular beliefs.
Many purchases were made in 2019-2020 to support the expanding student interest in public speaking, debate, and forensics. In particular, the School-sponsored trips to the Yale Debate, MinneApple Debate, Cypress Bay Debate, The Blake School Debate, Durham Academy debate, Montgomery Bell Academy debate, Stanford/Berkeley debate, and the NSDA Nationals.
The robotics program continued to grow this year with the support of annual giving. It sponsored the Dean Kamen SIGMU Robotics Chair to Matthew Fagen as he leads the curriculum and development of the Solomon Wong Tech Cube. The annual giving program continued to support curricular spending towards science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics including structural, civic, and engineering robotics sets. Additionally, gifts supported the purchase of new 3D printers, a powder coating oven, and a spray booth for the upper school robotics program.
As the Lower School grew, many books were purchased thanks to the generosity of donors. Books were purchased in both English and Mandarin. Gifts also supported the expansion of the fiction section in the lower school library with new shelves and supported a visit by New York Times best-selling author Kelly Yang, who visited our community and worked with our students in December 2019.
Many purchases were made this year to support the expanding student interest in public speaking, debate, and forensics. In particular, the School sponsored trips to the Yale Debate, MinneApple Debate, Cypress Bay Debate, the Blake School Debate, Durham Academy debate, Montgomery Bell Academy debate, Stanford/Berkeley debate, and the NSDA Nationals.
And much more !
Gifts to Building Excellence support the development of campus facilities, which enhances programs for KA through Grade 12. Gifts to Building Excellence made construction of the Solomon Wong Tech Cube possible, our a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to KA-12 STEAM education which establishes Taipei American School as the premier center for K-12 STEAM excellence in all of Asia.
Inspired by MIT’s facility, the Solomon Wong Tech Cube provides the canvas for 21st-century learning that gives TAS students the skills and experience they need to make a real difference in the world. The 4,380 square meters of usable space provides unique opportunities for all of our students. For example, upper school students learn in an electrical engineering lab and design in a fabrication hub on the upper school floors. Highly advanced equipment, currently not found in any other high school lab in the world, is available to our students. The middle school floor houses a VEX arena and robotic design lab, as well as vast open areas for art and innovation. Floor two, dedicated to lower school students, is designed to include “tinker and maker” spaces as well as an amphitheater. These are just a few of the exciting spaces that are part of the Solomon Wong Tech Cube.
Staying true to our mission for students “to be prepared to adapt and succeed anywhere in a rapidly changing world,” the Solomon Wong Tech Cube construction was completed in December 2018. It truly is an exciting time to be at TAS as we open doors and minds with this state-of-the-art facility. A high-level blending of disciplines and use of design thinking is at the heart of the Solomon Wong Tech Cube.
In 2019, gifts to Building Excellence made possible the installation of a new lower school playground. A new state-of-the-art lower school playground is an investment in the physical, mental, and social well-being of our children. The new playground helps our students play, learn, and grow into creative and confident adults who make a difference in their communities. Numerous studies have uncovered a proven correlation between play and academic achievement. At TAS, we want to provide every opportunity for our students to excel, and the playground is an important component in their educational journey.
Over the years, Building Excellence has built or enhanced the campus facilities in many ways. With gifts to Building Excellence Part 1: Facilities Development Project, new facilities were built such as the Dr. Sharon DiBartolomeo Hennessy Upper School Building, the Liu Lim Arts Center, and the Joie Gymnasium. Contributions for the Building Excellence Part 2 initiative were designated for the Tiger Health and Wellness Center and for bleachers for the gymnasium. Other recent projects include the continued renovation of the Guy Lott Jr. Auditorium; a state-of-the-art, Synergy Turf putting green and driving cages; and, a lower school basketball court and field dome. Annual giving also provided funds to renovate the West Campus building into a new ACT and SAT Testing Center.
Your gift to the Quasi Endowment helps assure long-term financial stability for the School. It ensures that future generations of TAS students enjoy excellence in education. It also serves as an emergency reserve. Twenty percent of all Annual Giving Program gifts made toward Building Excellence, Program Excellence, or Professional Excellence will be designated to the Quasi Endowment, unless otherwise specified by the donor.
Hope N.F. Phillips Scholarship Fund
Taipei American School established the Hope N. F. Phillips Scholarship Fund to provide partial scholarships – temporary tuition support – to families experiencing financial difficulties. This scholarship fund allows students who would otherwise have to leave the School because of financial hardship to continue their education at TAS.
The scholarship deservingly bears the name of Hope N.F. Phillips, former teacher, principal, board member, and alumni ambassador-at-large. This scholarship had been her dream for many years. It bears the name of one who has greatly enriched the history of the School, and it ensures that capable and valued students are able to continue their education at Taipei American School.