A Message From

President Tom Hassan

SYA President Tom Hassan

Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

Over 50 years ago, those who founded School Year Abroad knew the intrinsic value of living and studying overseas. Today, that insight is even more vital. Our challenge now is to ensure that SYA not only survives, but thrives by speaking directly to the needs and possibilities of our time. As a school, we will influence thousands of young people in coming years. As a leader in education abroad, we have the ability to benefit and enrich other educators. As a worldwide community of alumni, parents, teachers and students, we stand for understanding and empathy as antidotes to ignorance and intolerance.

How can we leverage all this potential and make SYA even stronger for generations to come? In my experience, great schools are visionary, flexible, and financially secure enough to adapt to changing conditions. SYA has defined an ambitious future agenda. We intend to secure and bolster our strengths, while also striding confidently into new areas of innovation. We are well positioned to redefine what constitutes leadership in study abroad education. Who else but SYA should lead the way?

As we launch The Campaign for SYA, we affirm our highest goals:

  • We will better ensure that SYA can enroll the most talented and mission-appropriate students by increasing our financial aid resources so that we can assist those in need.
  • We will invest deeply in SYA faculty, giving them the necessary tools and time to embrace the challenge of world-class innovation.
  • We will reinvent the SYA curriculum to create an educational and personal experience so distinctive that it cannot be equaled by staying home or choosing a competitor program.

The Campaign for SYA will enhance areas of existing strength and will also build core capacity in areas where we are not as strong as we should be. Yet the importance of this first-ever comprehensive capital campaign reaches beyond financial resources. It constitutes a celebration and a call-to-action like none other in our history. This is our moment to expand the impact and reputation of SYA so that the larger world recognizes SYA as one of the most transformative high school experiences any young person can have, bar none.

To realize our full future vision will require support across our whole community. We must build upon the good work of recent years and inspire even broader philanthropic investment from all who care about SYA.

When it comes to the work and future of our school, we are all ambassadors—for SYA itself and for the values we share of understanding, empathy, and intellectual curiosity. The work of School Year Abroad is more important than ever. Please join me today as a champion of our school and as a donor to The Campaign for SYA.