Diane Briere de l’Isle Engelhardt and ETHS alumnus Henry Engelhardt of Cardiff, Wales.

Evanston Township High School students will receive support in and out of the classroom this school year thanks to a $1.5 million gift from Class of 1975 alumnus Henry Engelhardt.

It’s the largest single donation to the ETHS Foundation in its 12-year history. The gift will provide Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots for students learning remotely.

The gift also invests in the school’s new Literacy Lab and the interdisciplinary Geometry in Construction program. It will create a scholarship fund for private instrument lessons for band students and provide assistive listening devices for the ETHS Auditorium, which is set to be renovated this year with lighting and acoustic updates.

“I was fortunate to get a lot out of my ETHS experience,” Engelhardt said. “You don’t realize how important this time is, and I want to ensure that students today have all the opportunities available to them to succeed. If our gift helps in some small way, then all the better.”

Engelhardt is co-founder and former chief executive of Admiral Group UK. He and his wife Diane Briere de l’Isle Engelhardt have made it a priority to support others, establishing the Moondance Foundation and signing The Giving Pledge to mark their commitment to donate half their wealth to charitable causes.

ETHS Foundation President Kevin Mack said, “Thanks to this immensely generous gift from the Engelhardt family, ETHS will be better equipped to not only provide top tier facilities and programming, but also to address issues of equity and access that exist in our education system. The student body will reap the benefits of their donation for years to come.”

The Engelhardts join thousands of alumni, parents, and other supporters who have given to the ETHS Foundation to advance equity and excellence for all students. The Foundation has provided over $7 million in support to ETHS for opportunities including the Planetarium, STEM Labs, the ETHS Research Center, Lazier Field and the ETHS Auditorium.

Most recently, the Foundation has raised funds for the Student Response Fund to address current critical needs related to the COVID-19 health crisis and distance learning.
More information on the ETHS Foundation, including current funding opportunities, is available at supporteths.org.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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