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Natick - Local Town Pages

Walnut Hill School for the Arts Receives $1.75 Million Major Gift

Major Donation from Sandra and Kevin Delbridge Offers Funding for Scholarships and Strategic Investments

(Natick, MA) — Walnut Hill School for the Arts today announces a major gift of $1.75 million from longtime supporters Sandra and Kevin Delbridge. Meeting the challenge of expanding access to Walnut Hill for talented young artists, a large portion of the contribution will go toward establishing the Delbridge Family Promise Scholarship Fund. This underwriting effort will finance the education of students in need and complement the strategic vision approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this year.
“We believe that there are talented students in the arts that, were it not for finances, would flourish at Walnut Hill,” say Sandra and Kevin Delbridge. “We also know that the financial gap is so great that partial financial awards are not enough to allow these students to attend Walnut Hill. It is our hope that the students who receive Promise Fund awards will thrive at Walnut Hill and, when successful, will in turn help others that can achieve their full potential.”
“Sandra and Kevin are not just supporters of Walnut Hill, they are visionary leaders who rise to the occasion when the occasion calls,” says Walnut Hill Head of School Eric Barber. “It takes foresight and an enterprising spirit to be a changemaker in the arts education arena, and the Delbridges have these qualities in abundance. Their commitment to access to the arts and education is beyond inspiring, and this investment will positively impact young artists who will go on to make profound artistic contributions to our society”.
The Delbridge Family Promise Fund will serve students whose families maintain a combined income of $150,000 or less. This visionary initiative will provide annual $50,000 financial aid awards to five to ten students over a three-year period, commencing in September 2024. Along with the Promise Fund, the Delbridges have dedicated $250,000 of the total gift to propel Walnut Hill’s strategic initiatives under the guidance of Eric Barber, Walnut Hill’s Head of School. This contribution empowers Walnut Hill to pioneer new paths, embrace emerging opportunities, and maintain a leadership role in arts education.
Additionally, $750,000 of the total gift will go toward a named gift in honor of retiring Theater Director Joe Cabral, a beloved member of the Walnut Hill community for 31 years.
“Joe has dedicated a major portion of his life to the advancement of the arts—in particular, theater,” Sandra and Kevin Delbridge add. “Over the years, he has worked with hundreds of students to help them in their quest to be better at their craft. His dedication is remarkable and his guidance invaluable.”
The details of this portion of the gift will be released at a later date.
The Delbridges (parents of two Walnut Hill alumni) have been stalwart champions of Walnut Hill for decades. The School’s most recent campus addition—the Delbridge Family Center for the Arts, unveiled in 2016—is named in their honor.