The 1916 Leadership Giving Circles
$50,000 + Astor Circle
$25,000 + duPont-Barksdale Circle
$10,000 + Kirby Circle
$ 5,000 + Evans Circle
$ 3,000 + Mingea Circle
$ 1,916 + 1916 Circle
Other Giving Levels
$1,200 + Headmasters Circle
$ 600 + Counselors Circle
$ 350 + Fighting Bishops Circle
$ 160 + The Old 160 Circle
Combined annual giving to The Fund for Virginia Episcopal School and The VES Endowment & Trust between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 will dictate your giving circle in the 2022-2023 Annual Report on Giving, which we will publish in late 2023.
Lady Astor, the first female member of British Parliament and world symbol of women’s rights, supported Bishop Jett and VES in three main ways: she gave the school financial backing; she gave the school prestige and cachet by her association; and she made introductions for Bishop Jett with notable philanthropists, including her father, Chiswell Dabney Langhorne, who gave Langhorne Memorial Chapel in memory of her mother.
Hamilton Barksdale, a managing vice president of the E. I. duPont de Nemours and Company, made substantial donations to Bishop Jett’s first building fund. His widow, Ethel duPont Barksdale, gave the Barksdale Memorial Gymnasium in his memory and paid the salary of the school’s business manager for the rest of her life.
F. M. Kirby was the pioneer of the 5 and 10 cent store sales concept and later merged his store with F. W. Woolworth and Company. A notable philanthropist to higher education, civil rights and public health, he made substantial contributions to Bishop Jett’s early building campaigns and began The VES Endowment & Trust in 1929 with a major challenge grant. Mr. Kirby’s cumulative generosity makes him VES’ second most generous pre-war donor.
Early on, through the blessings of support provided by Mrs. Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, Bishop Jett was able to engage the nationally distinguished architect Frederick H. Brooke to design a classically proportioned complex of red-brick buildings. On the threshold of the Great Depression, Bishop Jett began an ambitious fundraising initiative to eliminate the school’s debt. Mrs. Evans’ gifts to the VES debt fund, along with her earlier stewardship, made her the school’s third-largest donor during that critical era.
VES’ first benefactor who funded a portion of the Principal’s salary, traveling expenses, site and building fund, W. E. Mingea was a railroad executive from Abington, Virginia. He proposed the name “Virginia Episcopal School,” insisting that “if Virginia were part of the name, the school would have a history from the day of its opening.”