Former Trustee, Kay Wiegand and her husband, Roger, wished to provide their children, RJ ’90, Elizabeth ’91, and Susan ’96 with an independent school education. They also liked the small-town, village living of Sewickley and moved here from Mt. Lebanon to accomplish both goals. Here, Kay further developed her design business, Kay Wiegand Inc. Roger, now retired, was a trial attorney and partner with Reed Smith and later became the CEO of Phillips Resources, Inc., a privately held natural gas producer in western Pennsylvania.
The Academy’s close-knit community touched the Wiegands from the day their children enrolled. “Some of our dearest friends are among the parents and faculty that they met early on. Last winter, while vacationing in Florida, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Mary Nichols and Jim and Patty Cavalier, icons of the Academy community. Relationships that were built during our years there would not have happened anywhere else.” Kay and Roger praise the high academic standards of the Academy and its nurturing of their children’s athletic, theatrical, and traveling interests. “Routinely, our children were exposed to amazing things and places. They gleaned something from those experiences that we couldn’t have given them all on our own,” says Kay. They emphasize how effectively the faculty individually encouraged their children to pursue their interests and achieve success in chosen areas. The couple believes an interdisciplinary education is an essential tool in preparing students for a successful future. “We believe that the Academy provides a safe and challenging environment for students to realize their full potential,” Kay remarks. Perhaps equally as important to the Wiegands are the life-long friendships their children formed with classmates and faculty.
During the PICTURE THIS Campaign reception in Naples, Florida this past winter, Kay and Roger spoke extensively with Head of School, Kolia O’Connor, about their family’s experience with the Academy and vision of the Campaign. While the Wiegands are advocates for the physical improvements the Campaign will provide, they feel drawn to the aspects of the PICTURE THIS that are not as obvious. They believe that the quality of an Academy education will be sustained and enriched by the funds designated to attract, retain and develop an outstanding faculty, administration and staff. Kay and Roger grasp the importance of the creation of endowed Faculty Chairs, who will further encourage excellence and leadership in their respective fields. Roger concludes, “Sewickley Academy is much more than just another high quality independent school. It is a leader among schools providing academic excellence with a broad mix of activities.”