Sanford is using the Mitchell's donation to establish the Mitchell Family Scholars Program.

Sanford uses $1.5 million gift to create 4-year scholarship

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

Sanford is using the Mitchell's donation to establish the Mitchell Family Scholars Program.

Sanford is using the Mitchell’s donation to establish the Mitchell Family Scholars Program.

The Sanford School has just received the largest individual gift in its 93-year history. 

The private school in Hockessin will use the $1.5 million donation from alumni Kenny Mitchell, a 1993 graduate and current trustee, and his wife Heather, to launch the Mitchell Family Scholars Program. 

Mitchell is the global chief marketing officer at Levi Strauss & Co.

The scholarship fund is designed to advance the school’s commitment to affordability and diversity. 

“We are a school that supports all kinds of families and we readily recognize that affording an independent school tuition like ours isn’t easy for a lot of families,” said Mark Anderson, head of the school, which serves pre-k through grade 12. 

The scholarship will be awarded to one student each year, and will pay for all four years of their Upper School experience. 

Tuition for the Upper School is $31,000 per year. 

Anderson pointed out that the school offers a variety of merit-based scholarships and financial aid.

The first Mitchell Family Scholar was admitted to Sanford’s class of 2027 in the fall, and a new scholar will join Sanford’s Upper School each of the next three years.

The school declined to name the recipient.

The spread of the scholarships will ensure that Sanford’s Upper School will perpetually host four Mitchell Scholars, creating a lasting legacy of the Mitchell family’s generosity while changing the lives of generations of future Sanford students.

“Because we have a robust group of candidates in any given year who are coming to us through our own financial assistance programs, we’re identifying potential scholars through that group,” Anderson said. “We offer over $5 million in financial assistance school-wide, and that’s in grades preschool through 12.”

Kenny Mitchell said in a press release that if it were not for the generosity of the Sanford School, he would not have been able to afford an education there, and he’s grateful to be able to pay that forward.

Mitchell said attending Sanford helped form his personal and professional lives.

“I look back at my time as a Sanford student with tremendous gratitude for the educators, coaches, staff, parents and Sanford community members who encouraged and fostered my early talents as a student, athlete and leader,” he said. 

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