When their children enrolled at University School of Milwaukee, it was easy for Mike Darrow ’86 along with his wife, Jen, to reconnect with the School. “USM offers so many opportunities for parents to get involved,” Mike Darrow said. “And with the website and social media, you can still be a part of the USM community no matter how often you’re on campus.” Added Jen Darrow, “It’s important for our kids to see that it’s a family thing.We engage in the USM community because we want to, not because we feel we have to. It shows our kids that not only are they committed, but we are too.”
When the opportunity arose to support a new welcome center for the USM visitor entrance through the Our Common Bond capital campaign, the Darrows were happy to get involved.
With two kids in Middle School and one in Lower School, Mike and Jen knew first-hand the need for a safe, efficient, and welcoming entryway. “We wanted the Darrow Family Welcome Center to be a warm, friendly, inviting place,” Jen Darrow said. “Combined with the new Lee Community Room, it’s a great area to socialize, meet other families, and strengthen the USM community.”
“There’s a great feeling to the space,” said Mike Darrow, a member of the Board of Trustees and a co-chair of the Leadership Gifts Division of the campaign. “For parents and visitors alike, you know the kids are in a friendly and secure environment.”
It was Mike’s idea to invite his parents to contribute to the gift. “I felt that is should be a Darrow family gift, because USM has benefitted multiple generations of our family,” Mike Darrow said. Mike’s mother Susan (Slocum) Darrow MDS ’59 graduated from Milwaukee Downer Seminary and his grandfather Albert Slocum attended Milwaukee Country Day School in the early 1930s.
Susan Darrow was thrilled to participate, and treasures the 12 years she spent at MDS. “We are so proud of USM and we’re thrilled with the Welcome Center,” Susan Darrow said. “We want everyone who goes through those doors to feel welcome and we hope that they have the same wonderful experience that we had, and continue to have, with USM.”
Our Common Bond
“The Darrow Family Welcome Center is a beautiful, inviting new addition to our campus and we could not be happier with the impact on our students, faculty, staff, families, and visitors,” said USM’s Head of School Laura Fuller. “We are so thankful to the Darrow Family for this wonderful gift.”
The Welcome Center and the adjacent Bruce ’81 and Jennifer Lee Community Room are initial projects of Our Common Bond, the School’s capital campaign that will yield significant returns and long-lasting value. “The Welcome Center provides our community with a gateway to our School and serves as a symbolic beginning to our capital campaign that focuses on the special bond that unites everyone within the USM community,” Fuller said.
To learn more about the Our Common Bond comprehensive capital campaign, please visit www.usmourcommonbond.org.