b'H E A DSM E S S AG E Western boarding schools, like OrmeEndowment & Planned Giving(pictured on page 94 of Prep School Cowboys), she claims responded by alsoCreate Your Legacytrying to capture the spirit of the Old O n a beautiful fall Sunday after- When we went Up Top, he shared he hadopportunities for learning, characterWest in the schools architecture to en- THE IMPORTANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FUNDINGnoon, I gave a tour to a gen- learned to ride during his boardingbuilding and leadership. The founders oftice families to enroll.W hen people decide to give money or estates to educational institu-The curriculums and extra-curricular tleman who had never been toschool experience near Tucson, and thatthese schools, Bingmann states, wereprograming of Arizonas Western board- tions, they automatically think of colleges or universities.Rarely do Orme, but revealed he knew a lot aboutchores were an important part of his ed- creating an environment that trans- ing schools were also very similar to onethey consider secondary schools, which are the institutions that the school. As we strolled the campus,ucation as well. formed young boys into men by firstanother. With textbooks, tests, tethers,help feed higher education with some of their best students.In the past few de-he shared that he had attended a board- He also shared that his teachers pre- turning them into cowboys. treks and daily tasks to perform, they allcades, private college preparatory schools have closed at an alarming rate, and we ing school in Arizona that closed manypared him well for college, and was re- Bingmann has a section in the book thattried to balance traditional and progres- should be concerned about this.The school I went to, Southern Arizona School years ago. He had done some researchtired from a long tenure as a college phi- discusses how educational philosopherssive modes of learning. Scholarship,(SAS) in Tucson in the late 50s and early 60s closed soon after I graduated.A on Orme, but wanted to see the schoollosophy professor in Texas. We spokeat the turn of the last century like Johnhorsemanship, outdoor adventures,classmate of mine, Jeffery Matthews, made a gallant effort to keep it open, but it with his own eyes. He asked a lot ofabout Ormes educational philosophyDewey were calling themselves Progres- chores, character development andeventually closed.Other schools across the nation have met a similar fateboth in questions and expressed great interestand he seemed to approve of our bal- sives and asserting that learning by do- leadership were all intertwined. Cowboysthe Southwest and the on East Coast.These schools provided a learning environ-in our mission. ancing traditional and experiential ap- ing was a better pedagogical approachwith character were the intended out- ment that no others can offer.Small classes, personal attention and care are pri-The tour lasted well over an hour and Iproaches achieved through wide-rang- than rote memorization. Multi-varied ex- come. mary and such an atmosphere cultivates students who might not have succeeded, spoke at length about Ormes past, pres- ing AP, STEM, sustainability, residential,periences, Progressives believed, openedOf all the schools that Bingmann men- I myself included.I was late coming to appreciate the value of learningin my last ent and future. He was keen on learningand elective course and program offer- pathways to high levels of critical think- tions in her book, Orme is the only oneyear in prep schoolbut it did happen and I owe that to SAS. Now I wish to repay about Dot Lewis and the Fine Arts Festi- ings. ing, reflection and action. left! As many know, at several times inthat to a school that is very similar:The val, Caravans past and present, coach- At one critical point in the tour, ProfessorThe interplay between traditional andour history we nearly joined other board- Orme School.ing legends, and our recently completedSpencer K. Wertz said he had decidedprogressive pedagogies attracted theing schools in Arizona and folded. WeAfter I graduated from SAS, I attended Tex-winning football season. Orme was to be the principal recipient ofattention of educators across the coun- have survived through tough times andas Christian University (TCU) and received his estate. I was both shocked and de- try in the early Twentieth Century, andare now healthier than we have been inB.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy, and lighted. His reasoning for what wouldBingmann asserts they found a gooddecades. In our 91st year of operation,did postgraduate studies at the University amount to a significant gift was basedhome in Western boarding schools. Orme is one of the few, if not only, trulyof Kent at Canterbury in the philosophy of on the fact that his school was very sim- Her research supported the notion thatWestern boarding schools remaining inHistory.In 1970, I earned a Ph.D. in Philos-ilar to Orme, and Orme might be the lastthe founders of Arizona schools, like thethe country. But, what about our futureophy from the University of Oklahoma and remaining Western boarding school heUncle Chick, Aunt Minna and Charlie, be- as a survivor and leader of a specialreturned to teach at TCU for 37 years in could find. He gave me a book called lieved in the Progressives convictionAmerican educational experiment? the Philosophy department, where I was Prep School Cowboys and hinted thatthat varied experiences, particularly out- The question I ask of all those readingchair for many years.Since retirement, I the book would help explain why he haddoor work and adventures, led to pur- this is how can we together preservehave lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and decided to help. poseful and active lives attuned to bothand protect the unique educational op- have produced several books and many For anyone that attended The Ormeopportunities and shortcomings of aportunities offered at Orme and reacharticles.I continue pursuing research in School or Camp, they would find theconstantly changing world that resultedour Centennial as a world leader in edu- my field and enjoy traveling.I visited The book Prep School Cowboys illuminating.from the Industrial Revolution beginningcation? Essentially, the Centennial Cam- Orme School last year and was very im-According to the author Melissa Bing- in the Nineteenth Century. paign, which you will read about in thispressed with it and the people (staff and mann, in the first half of the TwentiethThere were other reasons why ArizonaBulletin, is a call to action. students) that I met.This provided further Century, dozens of boarding schoolsboarding schools evolved according toWe are bound by our mission and guid- incentive for me to leave the school with were established in Arizona and theBingmann. She thought several schoolsing principles of Excellence, Traditionas much funding as I could provide so that West as alternatives to Eastern boardingwere started by ranch families to makeand Character. Our recent restoration ef- it can further its mission.schools. their ranch a more profitable operation.forts are succeeding. Our path breakingLast year, I began converting my assets into a comprehensive estate plan which The premise of her book is that West- Some started specifically with the aspi- initiatives place us on a trajectory mov- has The Orme School as one of the primary benefactorsthis includes retirement ern boarding schools evolved not onlyration of rekindling the spirit of the Olding us from good to great. But we needfunds, properties, and oil and gas interests.The latter will eventually go out of trust to provide a rigorous college preparatoryWest in youth who were growing up inyour help to keep that forward momen- directly to the school.This estate will be unrestricted so that the school can decide curriculum, but to also focus on charac- luxury and comfort. Elite families of thetum! where best the funds need to go to improve the school.During this process, I have ter development. She contends that theIndustrial Age, Bingmann claims, wereexperienced great satisfaction and happiness to assist in the continuation of distance from the urban centers, theconcerned their offspring would be un- something larger than myself and about which I am passionate. ruggedness of ranching life, and theprepared to accept the mantle of leader-freedom and independence offered byship or develop the mental and physicalSpencer K. WertzWestern schools remote locations cre- toughness needed to carry on in theBruce Sanborn Santa Fe, New Mexicoated both traditional and non-traditionalfamily business or seats of government.Head of School4 THE ORME SCHOOL BULLETIN 2019 5'