Students Launch an Endowment Fund for Greenwich High School

Two members of the Greenwich High School class of 2025 have launched an endowment fund for the school.

Thomas Stowe and Anthony Bozza co-founded and serve as co-presidents of the Greenwich High School Endowment Fund.

Anthony Bozza and Thomas Stowe with GHS social studies teacher Ian Tiedemann. Contributed photo

Last fall the boys developed the idea to create a student-run endowment fund as a way to get real-world investment and market experience and give back to their school at the same time.

Anthony and Thomas said they had noticed private schools in Greenwich have endowment funds that reach into the tens of millions of dollars, but the public high school with a much higher enrollment than any private school, lacked anything comparable.

While many public school PTAs in town are able to raise funds from parents for enrichment activities like field trips and guest speakers, an endowment for a public school was a novel idea.

Since coordinating with school administration including GHS principal Ralph Mayo and district leadership to establish the fund, the boys have already raised $50,000 and partnered with Greenwich Alliance to custody the fund and process all donations.

Asked how they raised so much money, Thomas replied, “We raised $50,000 from multiple donors in the Greenwich community after sharing with them our idea.”

Also, Anthony said, “We sent an email to the entire high school to spread the word about the Endowment Fund. We also made an announcement during an Economics Club meeting, which generated a lot of student interest.”

Further, they hired Morgan Stanley as the broker on the account and recruited AP Economics and social studies teacher Ian Tiedemann to be the club’s advisor.

Thomas explained that they chose to partner with the Greenwich Alliance as they are the recognized organization for funding innovative ideas for the Greenwich Public Schools.

“The process understandably took time as we created a Memorandum of Understanding, a club charter, and an investment charter,” he said. “Admittedly we were initially met with skepticism, but we were able to provide comfort through our investment charter and the fact that there was no risk to Greenwich Alliance or Greenwich Public Schools. The Morgan Stanley relationship is through Greenwich Alliance and in fact our contact works exclusively with not for profit organizations.”

Their club has already attracted nearly 20 members and the boys look forward to increasing the membership over the summer as they will continue to meet to make additional investments.

The way the club is organized, all members have to watch two investing videos and pass a test to become an analyst, at which point they can recommend and vote on investment ideas.

The club invests the portfolio in stocks, bonds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Each year, the club intends to donate approximately 5% of the endowment fund back to the high school.  In the fall, the club hopes to do a fundraiser with the goal of increasing the size of the endowment fund.

Ian Tiedemann said he was thrilled with the concept that Thomas and Anthony put together.

“There are several groups at GHS that talk about finance, but how many actually get to learn from direct practice?” he asked. “Having real funds and real stakes serves as an immediate conversation starter at meetings and drives the group’s tasks. They take this responsibility seriously and they bring insights from their recent research to discuss at meetings.”

Mr. Tiedemann said he was impressed with the boys’ maturity and their goal, which is to reinvest in the school community.

Since the boys are rising seniors, they said their plans after graduation next year are to pass on leadership to some of their younger, passionate club members.

Of course, they said they will both continue to closely follow the endowment’s progress.

If anyone would like to donate to the endowment, should go through the Greenwich Alliance for Education and note the donation is for the GHS Endowment Fund.