What are some of your favorite things to do in the D.C. area?
Angela: One of the things we love about the area is there is so much to do within a short drive. Locally, we love to go to wineries, visit new restaurants and take advantage of some of the cultural institutions, like the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Museums. We’re also a few hours from New York and Philadelphia. You can get to a major city, the beach or the mountains with just a little bit of travel time.
Angela, what is the best part of your job as director of marketing for an independent school?
The best part of my job is the feeling that I’m doing something that is making a difference. I spent a lot of time in corporate marketing before I was recruited by Flint Hill in 2014. At the time, I was looking for a role that would allow me to have more of a direct impact on the community. Education was always extremely important in my family and it’s very important to us as a family now. The D.C. area has one of the highest concentrations of private schools in the country, but I believe that Flint Hill is a really special place and I love having opportunities to tell its story every day. Our son has attended the school since Pre-K, and that makes the experience all the more special to me.
Kyle, you were a math teacher who was recruited to work for the government. Tell us a little bit about that.
Economics was always a huge interest of mine. When I was presented with the opportunity to work for an agency that measures the U.S. economy and produces some of the most important statistics in the world, I couldn’t pass that up. Fourteen years later, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What are your philanthropic passions?
Kyle: We have always been passionate about causes that are personally meaningful to us, so historically that’s always served as a filter when it comes to giving. Angela’s mother passed away from breast cancer when Angela was in middle school, so breast cancer research has been an important cause for us. We also give to our church, to Flint Hill and, of course, to Grand Valley.
Why did you both choose to attend Grand Valley?
Angela: I was looking for a school with strong academic programs and one that would also offer many of the social experiences that are typically associated with attending college: the extracurricular activities, the football games.
Kyle: It was about attending a growing university that was close enough to home to allow for visits with family but far enough away to allow the kind of independence you typically hope for with your college experience.
What is your favorite memory of your time at Grand Valley?
Angela: It probably sounds silly, but meeting each other as neighbors in Laker Village. Kyle stopped by my apartment with his roommates during our first week on campus one year and it wound up changing our lives.
You have given to the Inclusion & Equity Endowed Scholarship. Why is it important for you to support that particular scholarship?
Kyle: Diversity, equity and inclusion have always been very important to us, and with Angela working in education and now we have a young son, it’s something that we’ve become more focused on. The world needs more champions for this work, and if we can play a small role in making that happen, we’re happy to do so.
Why do you feel giving back to Grand Valley is important?
Kyle: Because we believe education is so important and Grand Valley made such a difference in our lives; for us, it’s a no-brainer. We’re extremely proud of how the school has grown and shifted to meet the demands of what education needs to look like right now and who it needs to serve. It’s hard to put into words how proud we are. We’re fortunate to be in a position in which we’re able to give, but we also wouldn’t be where we are without Grand Valley.
What would you say to encourage others to give back to the university?
Angela: Every gift matters. When people think of giving, particularly if they are new to philanthropy, it can be intimidating. You might see someone’s name on a building or a plaque and think, “Well I can’t do that, so it isn’t worth it.” But that’s not true. Philanthropy is like building a house. Every brick, every piece of wood, all of it matters. The house can’t stand without it. So, if something is important to you, whether you have $1 to give or $100,000, it makes a difference.