Editor's Note: The following is a press release from The Meadowbrook School:
announced recently that long-time benefactors Penny and Jeff Vinik have established a new endowment with a gift of $5 million to the school. Income from the endowment will provide bonuses to all faculty (teachers and staff), given each year before the holiday season, for the duration of their employment at the school. This is the largest single gift that the school has received in its 84-year history.
“Meadowbrook has played a huge role in the lives of our children,” said Jeff Vinik. “We know how hard this faculty works, day in and day out, for the benefit of its students. We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to thank them in a long-term, meaningful way.”
“We are truly excited about this gift,” said Penny Vinik, who has served on Meadowbrook’s board of trustees for over 12 years, five of them as president of the board. “I’ve watched all four of my children blossom under the careful guidance of this faculty, becoming kids who love learning, embrace challenges, and are prepared for the future. This is our way to say thank you, now and in the years to come.”
Headmaster Stephen T. Hinds praised the Viniks for their enduring and unparalleled commitment to the School. “We are profoundly grateful to Penny and Jeff, not only for their generous financial gifts, but for the invaluable gift of their time and dedication to Meadowbrook over the years. Meadowbrook is changed forever for the better because of their efforts.”
To honor this gift, Meadowbrook has named the building that houses the gymnasium and arts department “The Vinik Family Center.” Constructed in 2002, this building is home to a full size gym, stage, woodworking shop, pottery studio and art rooms. “Naming this building ‘The Vinik Family Center’ has deep meaning,” says Mr. Hinds. “Since they arrived at Meadowbrook in 1996 this couple, whom I call ‘Angels of the School,’ has been instrumental in supporting faculty programs, professional development, and Penny’s passion, the arts. As they are exceedingly humble, I had to persuade the Viniks to accept the family naming as a way for us to thank them for their 16 years of extraordinary support for their beloved Meadowbrook.”
Indeed, the Viniks have frequently stepped forward to help Meadowbrook over the years, generously funding various facilities and classroom improvements, all while giving to the annual fund and capital campaigns. As an example, the family paid for the installation of a sidewalk and new parking lot lighting several years ago when Penny worried about teachers’ safety and comfort when walking to their cars.
No strangers to philanthropy, the Viniks have long been generous donors to many Boston-area institutions, including Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Museum of Fine Arts, where Penny has served for many years as trustee. The family also recently established the Vinik Faculty Challenge Fund at Jeff’s alma mater, Duke University, to fund research that addresses complex societal challenges.
Jeff Vinik is the founder and chairman of Vinik Asset Management, a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox, and the owner and chairman of both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm. The couple have four children: Daniel, Jared, Kyra and Joshua. The family will relocate to the Tampa Bay area this summer.
The Meadowbrook School is an independent, co-educational day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through eight, located in Weston. The school employs 70 faculty and enrolls over 300 students.