Building a Better Tomorrow: Phase II
The time to build a better tomorrow is now.
Since its founding in 1926, and guided by the motto, “Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow,” Dexter Southfield has provided generations of young men and women the foundation to become leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens prepared to achieve their personal best in every stage of life. The result of this work is seen across college and university campuses, throughout the corporate world, on professional sports teams, and within volunteer organizations. Our alumni continue to deliver excellence and lead with the character, confidence, and compassion which they developed on our campus.
Now, at the intersection of program and place, Dexter Southfield welcomes its most ambitious effort to date: the $25 million Building a Better Tomorrow: Phase II initiative, which includes strategic investments in academic programming, faculty innovation, student-athlete development, the Dexter Southfield Fund, and campus facilities to reinforce Dexter Southfield’s position as the preeminent PreK through Class 12 independent day school in Boston.
The time to build a better tomorrow starts today, and we hope you will join us.
Ava Brosnan '23: From Dexter Southfield to Stanford
Although some 3,000 miles separate Dexter Southfield’s Brookline, Massachusetts campus from Stanford University, it did not take Cardinals-bound Ava Brosnan ’23 long to recognize the similarities between the two communities.
“Stanford is very similar to Dexter Southfield in that it is a small, tight-knit community and you have close relationships with your professors. It even looks like Dexter Southfield!,” Brosnan says of the red clay roof tiles unique to the two campuses, a small but meaningful memory that will likely make her feel a bit more at home when she settles into the California campus in the fall of 2023.
Brosnan explored Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown before signing her National Letter of Intent to play Division I women’s lacrosse at Stanford. She feels indebted to the Dexter Southfield community for the widespread academic and athletic support she received during her time on campus and the opportunity it has provided her to attend one of the nation’s top universities while competing for a National Championship.
“When I was looking to transfer to an independent school, I knew I needed small class sizes to succeed. I really like smaller communities and knowing everyone. I know that the strong bonds I have built with faculty will prepare me well for the transition to Stanford. At Dexter Southfield, the teacher’s doors are always open for extra help, and they are always willing to give their own time to support students.”
Beyond her academic experience, she cites Dexter Southfield’s Athletic Department leadership, field and facility access, unique opportunities such as the team’s fall training with women’s lacrosse star Charlotte North, and support from the athletic training staff as key differentiators of Dexter Southfield’s athletic program that supported her journey. Her accolades are impressive: Brosnan was named an Under Armour All-American in 2020 and is a two-time all-NEPSAC honoree, represented Massachusetts/Rhode Island at the USA National Tournament (winning the tournament championship), and twice played in the National High School Tournament with her Dexter Southfield teammates.
She recognizes other opportunities Dexter Southfield has provided her beyond simply a platform for competition.
“I have really valued the times when our team has been able to give back to the community,” says Brosnan. “We have organized clinics for Brookline Youth Lacrosse, hosted a program for Harlem Youth Lacrosse on campus, and have supported initiatives around Morgan’s Message, an organization striving to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community.”
Brosnan lists math and art as two of her favorite classes at Dexter Southfield, so it is no surprise that she will consider pursuing a degree in architecture or interior design at Stanford. But she’s not limiting her options just yet.
“I am looking forward to branching out and exploring different topics,” Brosnan shares. “I am excited to take a combination of art and STEM classes and discover what I am really passionate about. Stanford does a terrific job of supporting student-athletes, and they will help me determine my academic path while balancing a rigorous athletic schedule.”
The Stanford Cardinal’s women’s lacrosse team will look to defend its Pac-12 title this spring while Brosnan looks to take care of unfinished business with a Dexter Southfield team on the rise. She’ll also soak in those final moments of being a high school student.
“I am going to miss my teammates most,” Brosnan shares when looking ahead to graduation. “Just those moments of going to class and then playing lacrosse with them after school are what I will miss most.”
Pat Daly '16: Prepared for the Future
Although Pat Daly ’16 may no longer live physically close to his former Dexter Southfield teammates and classmates, the connections he made during his formidable upper school years remain strong. After all, distance has never been a factor for the Hamilton, Mass. native who chose Dexter Southfield despite the lengthy commute to and from campus each day.
“There hasn’t been a day that our group chat has been silent,” Daly fondly shares of his friendships from Dexter Southfield. “There is nothing we enjoy more than getting together for the Alumni Game on campus each December. All of my friends at Dexter Southfield are genuinely good people, evident in the lasting relationships that we still have. Having experienced strong high school friendships – and knowing what type of people brought out the best in me – allowed me to find similar community in college and beyond.”
After graduating from Dexter Southfield, where he played both hockey and lacrosse, and served as an editor for The View, Daly went to on play four years of NCAA Division III hockey for Amherst College. Today, he is an associate in New York in Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Group’s Cross Market Group, where he focuses on upper middle market mergers and acquisitions. His post-graduate career at Goldman initially began as an intern.
“Going to Amherst provided me an awesome opportunity for professional growth with a mixture of guidance and networking,” Daly recalls of his undergraduate experience. “Amherst has a strong alumni network, and they are a target school for many of the top firms.” Following a rigorous on- and off-campus interview process, Daly was offered a 10-week summer internship after his junior year. Following the summer internship experience, he received a return offer for a full-time position after graduation.
“It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy what I do. I learn a lot, gain valuable experience, and interact with so many talented people. I am incredibly fortunate.”
Daly recalls fondly two aspects of Dexter Southfield’s educational model that prepared him well for not only Amherst but also Goldman Sachs: time management and asking for guidance and feedback.
“Dexter Southfield provided the foundation for me to be comfortable at place like Amherst,” Daly shares. “You build such great relationships with faculty at Dexter Southfield and that drove me to seek out feedback from professors. It is important to be able to ask for help, and Dexter Southfield made me comfortable doing that. Given my many interests and activities, it was critical to find ways to balance all I wanted to do. Time management was simply part of the culture at the School and a critical requirement to balance academics and athletics. I have carried that with me, and it has set me apart from my colleagues.”
Now, nearly seven years removed from donning the crimson and navy, Daly remains grateful for the opportunity to attend Dexter Southfield.
“I could not have asked for a better experience. For me, it was the combination of academic excellence, athletic pedigree, and a supportive culture and community.”
Annie Reardon '11: Forbes 30 Under 30
Annie Reardon ’11 credits what she calls “an innocent moment” with defining her career-trajectory. The London-based Union College graduate, who held a lifelong passion for technology and coding, used a college tutoring job to spark her career.
“I was tutoring a student, and her mother asked me if I would like to interview for a position at JP Morgan,” Reardon recalls. “It was a moment that led me to become a member of the internal tech consulting office in their technology department. My role consisted of optimizing technology across the organization. I fixed internal problems and moved on to the next.”
Reardon loved the exposure to technology that the position offered but recognized the absence of coding. So, ever the entrepreneur, she took matters into her own hands and taught herself how to code on nights and weekends before eventually being accepted into JP Morgan’s Engineering Program, an external bootcamp of sorts that taught employees coding.
Fast forward to today. Reardon and her business partner Renee Russo, whom she met during her time at JP Morgan, have guided their company, Glow Labs, to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list. The company, which helps brands design blockchain-based loyalty rewards, has 12 employees and has raised $5 million in initial seed funding. Despite this extraordinary success at a young age, Annie still relies on lessons learned at Dexter Southfield.
“One takeaway from Dexter Southfield that is part of Glow Labs culture is establishing the difference between the ‘hard right against the easy wrong.’ There are quick fixes and corners that one could take but we lead with integrity. As a leader I always ask myself, ‘How can I instill in my employees to take the hard right?”
She also points to her athletic experience and Dexter Southfield’s unique educational model as influencing her career as a businesswoman.
“Being involved in hockey allowed me to stray away from any type of imposter syndrome which I believe is one of the factors that led me to technology,” Reardon shares. “Another factor was the single sex educational environment. We were taught at a young age to be our own self-advocates. I became very confident in myself both on the ice and in the classroom because there wasn’t any type of outside pressures or influences that led me to believe otherwise.”
Of all the skills Reardon still carries from Dexter Southfield, which may be responsible for Glow Labs’s growth, are those acquired from Public Speaking.
“I always valued my background in public speaking from Dexter Southfield,” she says. “I am constantly pitching Glow Labs in front of investors. The way I hold myself and confidently communicate the goals of my company opens new opportunities for us.”
Connor Bowman '19: A Life-Changing Experience
It would be easy for Connor Bowman ’19 to look back on his Dexter Southfield years and remember only the championships. After all, he won three as a three-sport athlete (football, hockey, and baseball). But for the Tufts University senior, who studies pre-med, captains the highly-competitive baseball team, and volunteers with the Big Brother Big Sister program, it is the safety net of support that he remembers most.
“The supportive relationships with faculty were the reason my family and I chose Dexter Southfield,” Bowman recalls. “I was attracted to the School for its small class sizes and academic reputation. Teachers were invested in me, and the extra time they dedicated to my academic success was instrumental. By my senior year, I was taking AP courses that both challenged me and provided direction into what I may study in the future. I certainly had many advantages that prepared me for college and allowed me the opportunity to attend Tufts University.”
Bowman realized early on that Dexter Southfield would not put him in a box and soon immersed himself in a variety of programs and activities that would round out his high school experience.
“By the time I left, I was a member of the a cappella group, I was tutoring Latin to middle school students, and Forbidden Fiction was my favorite class. If I never began tutoring, I would have never become involved in Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Dexter Southfield provides students opportunities that a lot of other schools do not. By trying new activities and showing up on the first day, I was able to learn a lot about myself.”
At Tufts, studying pre-med seemed like the natural path for Bowman, whose parents are both in the medical field. But a unique experience at Dexter Southfield also helped ignite that passion.
“My mother, a nurse, always loved telling me stories from the hospital. Hearing my mother talk about her work compelled me to take advantage of science courses at Dexter Southfield. Harvard MEDScience was the most impactful. The exposure gained in that class is an unmatched experience for an upper school student.”
Bowman is quick to make a connection between the baseball diamond and the work ethic needed to be successful in pre-med. “As a freshman at Dexter Southfield, I was placed on the varsity team as the starting catcher, a position that requires one to always be ready to react. On the field, you never know what is going to happen, just like in the hospital. This past fall I worked at Mount Auburn Hospital as a Patience Care Assistant. The hands-on experience was demanding, but also tremendously humbling and rewarding. Learning to work under pressure at a young age translated to my career path.”
As Bowman prepares for his college graduation in May, he looks back with immense gratitude for the academic foundation Dexter Southfield provided.
“I appreciate the exceptionally well-rounded education I received and for the strong foundation it provided me to be successful in college and beyond,” Bowman shares. “During my six years on campus, I grew into a more confident and compassionate young adult and was challenged academically, athletically, and in the arts. While it can be cliché to call an experience lifechanging, that is exactly what Dexter Southfield was for me.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Building a Better Tomorrow: Phase II initiative, please contact Stephanie Governali at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 751-3617.