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Bullis Community Update: May 16, 2024

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Bullis Community Update: May 16, 2024

Dear Bullis Families,

Bullis Head of School, Christian Sullivan

This is my penultimate letter to you of this academic year, and it’s fairly meaty, so please bear with me! We have exactly three weeks to go until the last day of school (the seniors graduate in only seven days time), and there is an extraordinary amount that will be packed into these 13 school days. I want to share important information.

College Acceptances

Last year’s college list was terrific, and the Class of ’24 has produced an equally impressive list! We are proud of our seniors. They graduate with the core foundations established over their years at Bullis–they will be lifelong learners, caring global citizens, scholars who embrace challenge, community contributors, and mindful explorers. As they move on to the next phases of their lives, we are proud of their college acceptances and the choices they have made. I am intentionally transparent about the college process and our outcomes, without identifying individual students. I believe it is important for our current and prospective parents to see the range of schools to which our students matriculate.

Our 2024 college matriculation lists can be seen here. Division I athletes are denoted with an asterisk. I am exceptionally grateful to our truly outstanding teachers and college counselors who have skillfully guided our students through the college process with grace, encouragement, and care.

New Bullis Branding

Beginning this fall, Bullis will roll out a full collection of new logos that symbolize the spirit, tenacity, and prestige of our school. The collection, which has been designed to represent Bullis in every endeavor, will be unveiled on August 19 on the Bullis website and Instagram page. At the heart of the new visual identity are a bespoke “B” and “BULLIS” wordmark that are rooted in the earliest iconography of the school. The new bulldog, which will be presented in two versions, references a photo of one of Mr. Spencer's famous pups that inspired the adoption of the bulldog as the school mascot more than half a century ago. There will also be a "spirit mark" that symbolizes the growth of our students during their Bullis journeys and a new official seal that unifies imagery from throughout our history.

The effort to create this new look began during the development of our Strategic Plan in 2021, when the Board of Trustees, Senior Leadership Team, and I identified a need to clarify the Bullis identity. We know what makes Bullis unique—exceptional student outcomes in a joyful, intellectually stimulating environment—and it's paramount that our visual brand embodies it. The new logos are bold, collegiate, and packed with meaning. I can't wait for you to see them, but alas, I'll have to for a few more months!

Campus Building Update

It is with great appreciation for June and David Trone that we announce an exciting campus update. Our STEM building, known as the Discovery Center, will be permanently named the Trone Center in acknowledgment of the Trones’ passionate support of and generous contributions to Bullis. June and David, parents of Bullis graduates Natalie ’12 and Rob ’14, were among the very first investors in the growth that has led our school to become one of the most sought-after educational institutions in the D.C. area. Their visionary leadership and foundational philanthropic support allowed us to build the Trone Center, bringing innovative programming and state-of-the-art classrooms to the forefront of the Bullis student experience since the building opened in 2017.

Since 2017, the previous head of school, Dr. Gerald Boarman, has been honored by having his name attached to the Discovery Center. Dr. Boarman remains a great supporter of Bullis, the Trone family, and this first permanent naming of this building. Dr. Boarman recently commented, “I am so very pleased to know that the erstwhile Discovery Center, which temporarily bore my name until Bullis conferred permanent donor naming rights, will now be named the Trone Center, in honor of my good friends, David and June Trone. I heartily congratulate David and June on this occasion. It is most well deserved.”

We invite you to join us on June 13 at 6:30 pm as we dedicate this building to June and David. The celebration will include remarks by Senator Roy Blunt (P ’23) and Congressman David Trone, as well as food, fun, and friends. I hope to see you there!

Board of Trustees

While often in the background, the Board of Trustees plays essential fiduciary, strategic, and generative roles. Bullis trustees are exceptional servants to the school and give generously of their time, talent, and treasure. Each year, some trustees roll off the board after having served their terms, and others join.

This year, three trustees are departing, having served with special distinction. Hillary Baltimore (P ’17, ’20), Cyndi Bullis Vasco ’83 (P ’20, ’21), and Pat Caulfield (P ’14, ’20) leave the board after a combined 36 years of service. Their wisdom, institutional knowledge, and love of Bullis will be sorely missed. They depart with our deep gratitude and enduring friendship.

Simultaneously, four new trustees will join the board: Brad Klein (P ’31, P ’34), Seema Kakar (P ’24, P ’28), David Eigner (P ’25), and Emmanuel Bailey (P ’27). We welcome them and thank them for their future service.

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Pat Caulfield is departing not only after all those years of board service but also seven years as Board Chair. Since I was appointed in October 2019, not a week has gone by when I haven’t communicated with Pat. Indeed, throughout much of my tenure, particularly throughout the pandemic, but frankly beyond, there have been periods where we’ve spoken or texted almost daily. Being the chair of an independent school board is a hefty assignment, and I am beyond grateful for Pat’s guidance over the last four years. I am thrilled that he will be joining the ranks of an illustrious group of Trustee Emeriti. 

I am very pleased to let you know that David Pepper (P ’24, P ’27) was elected by the board to be the next chair. I believe (hope) he knows what he has signed up for! I really appreciate that he has stepped forward to take on this critical role.

June 1 Contract Date

Every year, I send a rather uncomfortable reminder to families that the enrollment contract that new and returning families sign includes a notice that full tuition is payable as of June 1. We very much hope that every student who is enrolled for next year will come; however, if you currently have a valid enrollment contract for the 2024-25 school year but do not intend to send your child to Bullis, you must let us know in writing before June 1, 2024, that your child will not be returning. The full tuition for the entire school year is payable after that date, and we do enforce this element of the contract. Thank you.

The last letter of the year will hit your inboxes on June 5. It will include a review of the fabulous arts events that have occurred, a debrief on the athletic season, an overview of some of the terrific different activities that have occurred over the spring, and a goodbye to departing faculty. And as I look back over the just completed year, I will also preview what will be happening on campus over the summer, as well as look forward to the beginning of next; there is so much to look forward to.

In the meantime, enjoy these last days of the school year, and encourage your children not to wish them away too quickly…the long summer will be with us soon enough!

Warmly,

christian sullivan signature

Christian G. Sullivan
Head of School