Evanston Township High School’s Educational Foundation says the school has received a pledge of $500,000 toward construction of three new science, technology, engineering and mathematics labs.

The plege requires a $100,000 match from other private donors by June 30 next year.

The gift comes from Leonard Schaeffer, a 1963 ETHS grad who is the former chairmain of WellPoint, the nation’s largest health benefits company.

The $600,000 is expected to cover the full cost of constructing the labs.

“The people I met and the education I received at ETHS led to opportunities that changed my life. The STEM labs should help provide similar experiences for current ETHS students,” Schaeffer is quoted as saying in a news release from the foundation.

The Foundation was established in 2005 to support ETHS with private funding for grants targeted to capital improvements.

In another effort to enhance science education at the school, Kristen Perkins, a member of Northwestern University’s office of STEM Education Partnerships starts this month in a newly created position as the NU/ETHS partnership coordinator.

She will support ETHS teachers in science, mathematics, and career and technology education piquing the interests of ETHS students in the STEM subjects. ETHS students will be among the first to benefit from innovations coming out of the University’s STEM research.

Pete Bavis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at ETHS, said, “We know that STEM education is at the heart of today’s global economy. This partnership will support our students in developing the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them productive citizens in the 21st century.”

The foundation will begin its fundraising campaign to match Schaeffer’s pledge on Friday, Sept. 21, with the “Wildkit Golf Outing and Happy Hour Bash” at the Glenview Park Golf Club.

The event has raised $75,000 over recent years and funded major capital projects such as new labs at the ETHS ecology site, new curtains in the school auditorium, and most recently, wireless technology on campus.

New this year will be a hole-in-one contest sponsored by the Autobarn of Evanston. The first to get a hole-in-one will ride home in a sporty brand new Mazda Miata convertible. Tickets are $150 for Golf and Happy Hour, $50 for Happy Hour only ($80 per couple).

More information on the golf outing is available online.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. A commitment to science, technology and math education

    What a wonderfully generous gift to support math and science education.

    I don't golf. How else may I contribute to make the match?

    1. Support the ETHS Educational Foundation

      Evanston Township High School continues to maintain its reputation as one of the finest public high schools in the country thanks to the vision of our leaders, the dedication of our faculty and staff, and the generosity of our alumni, parents, and other friends. Our supporters understand that excellence doesn't happen by accident: it requires a steady infusion of time, talent, and financial resources. Through individual, corporate, and foundation gifts, the Foundation is able to raise and distribute funds to the high school in order to complement, enhance and enrich beyond the means of conventional public funding, opportunities that further the educational mission of Evanston Township High School.

      ETHS’s advancement team has developed comprehensive fund-raising programs that offer the opportunity for every member of our community to make a difference. Our Executive Director, Fran Caan, is pleased to help supporters develop a gift plan, including planned giving opportunities, that fits their particular needs and interests. Call 847/424-7157 e-mail to learn more today or you may click here to make a gift now.

      1. Fundraising and PEG

        Has ETHS spent any contribution dollars to pay for the Pacific Education Group?

        Or is that just a District 202 mistake?


    2. Community resources in the schools

      Except for every couple of years reading about a Northwestern University professor teaching a science course, I don't hear about the schools bringing in talent, especially in the sciences, to help advanced students or those with a desire—perhaps not nurtured enough—to go into the sciences. 

      Evanston has the resources—science, technology, computers as well as retired PhDs and maybe even NU professors—to help with the STEM development of our students.

      It may even be some companies would provide time for their staffs to teach—as in this article from the New York Times.


Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *