The Bolles School community was privileged to welcome and celebrate The Gund Family last weekend during several on-campus festivities.
Gordon Gund and sons Zack and Grant gave a transformative gift to the School in honor of wife and mother Llura “Lulie” Liggett Gund Bartram ’58, who passed away in 2020. The family’s gift made possible the Llura “Lulie” Liggett Gund ’58 Residence Hall for Girls on the second floor of Bolles Hall, which paved the way for female boarding students to live in Bolles Hall for the first time in School history.
Gordon and son Grant traveled to Jacksonville October 29 to attend a reception and ceremony on the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus in their family’s honor. Prior to kickoff of the Homecoming football game on George H. Hodges Field, the School posthumously honored Lulie Gund and announced her as the recipient of the 2021-22 Alumna Sidney W. Register Award – a prestigious annual distinction for alumni who have been extraordinary changemakers.
On October 30, the School hosted a luncheon honoring the family and boarding students led tours of the new Llura “Lulie” Liggett Gund ’58 Residence Hall for Girls.
The official opening celebration and Gund family welcome of the residence hall made history at The Bolles School. Bolles originally was developed in the mid-1920s as a posh hotel before its founding as an all-male military school in 1933. Bolles dropped its military affiliation in 1962 and became coeducational in 1971, but residence halls have been split between the Bartram and San Jose campuses for decades. With a consolidated boarding program – girls on the second floor and boys on the third floor of Bolles Hall – all Bolles Resident Life students can live on the campus where they attend classes, practices and events.
The new girls’ residential hall eventually will encompass the entire second floor of Bolles Hall and doubles Bolles’ female boarding capacity from 30 to 60 students – positioning the program to meet increasing admission demand. The work includes notable environmental enhancements to the entire building – Bolles Hall is now 100 percent solar energy dependent.
The female boarders are part of a culturally and internationally diverse resident community of students from 17 states and 18 countries this school year. Students in the 2021-22 Bolles Resident Life program are from Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Vietnam, in addition to the United States. These students are joining an already culturally and ethnically diverse community of learners, many bi-lingual. Bolles students in grades Pre-K through 12 come from many backgrounds and a total of 52 countries including the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Brazil, Nicaragua, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, Germany, Peru, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Japan, Jamaica, Romania, South Africa, Norway, Bahamas, Singapore, Mongolia, Japan, Nigeria, Australia, Austria, Cayman Islands, China, India, Egypt, Armenia, Pakistan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Russia, New Zealand, Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, France, Ukraine, Kenya, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Turkey and South Korea.
The Gund family’s gift has gathered this culturally vibrant group of students together in one campus home at long last. The family’s gift also aligns with Lulie Gund’s long legacy of philanthropy, which included making tangible changes in the realms of blinding retinal diseases, conservation and renewable energy.