With 45 Years of Experience in Financial Services, Bill Daiger Views Tower Hill as a Smart Investment

Q&A with Teresa Messmore, Director of Communications and Marketing
Bill Daiger sat on Tower Hill’s board of trustees from 2006 to 2018, serving as treasurer and guiding the school’s investments and finances in prudent and insightful ways. His major gift to Tower Hill 100 supports educational technology.

Why are endowments important to institutions such as Tower Hill?
Endowments are the capital base for an institution. It serves as a base against bad times. It also tangibly shows that those who have benefited from Tower Hill have been willing to pledge money to grow that endowment. The bigger the endowment, the more income it throws off, which then can be used by the school for faculty and for financial aid. The bigger the endowment is, the bigger the opportunity to expand financial aid and continue to attract well rounded, diverse students to the student body, which is healthy, I think, in the long run for the school.

Why did you direct your gift to technology?
I think giving the student body the opportunity to learn about technology and to use technology is helpful. So ensuring that every kid gets the opportunity to have a piece of technology that’s going to help them do their homework, help them learn more and help faculty to teach innovatively is important. In addition, I think a critical, critical factor for independent schools is cost management. I think that anything the school can do that uses technology to help reduce costs will keep Tower Hill extremely competitive in the future.

What are some characteristics about Tower Hill that you think make the school special?
Strong history. Willing to be innovative and change. Firm on the traditions that are part of its foundation. Well diversified in both curriculum and activities—sports, culture, music, etc. And a commitment over 100 years to continue to be an innovator, to be different, and to be at the top of the class, which it has done.

Why are both the Annual Fund and the Tower Hill 100 Campaign important to a school’s finances?
The endowment supports the critical strategic things that the school needs or wants to do. When you talk about financial aid, the spin-off from the endowment income is used primarily for that. The Annual Fund, in my mind, supports the shortfall between tuition and the operating expenses of the school. The reason, I think, the Annual Fund has done so well is 1.) This administration has really focused on bringing attention to it, and 2.) The school’s costs aren’t rising so dramatically that people say, “Gee, without the Annual Fund they wouldn’t exist.” So they apparently and justifiably feel like the Annual Fund is enhancing and not just subsidizing, which I think is critical. You think of the innovation, the strategic plan, the fact that it’s been communicated across the board, the fact that you see what’s happening now and the opportunity for things that are going to happen in the future … People get excited about that.

Is there anything else you think is important for others to understand as we move forward with the campaign?
It’s a one-time opportunity for graduates to recognize the value they have gotten from their education at Tower Hill. This is one time to say, “Thank you, Tower Hill, for making me what I am!”