Back in February, we announced that Purnell's Board of Trustees made the difficult decision
to close the school at the end of the academic year due to ongoing challenges related to
enrollment and financial sustainability. We chose to act while we were in a position to ensure a
thoughtful and carefully managed transition for our students as well as for our faculty and staff,
which has been our focus for the past four months.
We are reaching out today to share that this afternoon The Pingry School announced its plan to
purchase the Purnell School campus as an extension of its primary campuses in Basking Ridge
and Short Hills. We had several potential buyers and we could not be more pleased to be
moving forward with Pingry.
The school will carry on the Purnell legacy through the establishment of the Purnell Scholarship
Fund at Pingry, which will grant need-based scholarships to high school-aged female students
each year. They also agreed to maintain our alumnae database as well as an archive of Purnell
memorabilia on campus. Finally, Purnell alumnae will be invited back once a year to visit. We
are grateful to have found a buyer that truly understands and respects our commitment to
preserving our precious memories.
Purnell School's mission to meet the needs of individual students was unique at the time of our
founding. We are excited about Pingry's vision for the property, which is to expand programming
for the school's more than 1,100 students, focusing on teaching and learning innovation, global
and experiential education and community well-being. Simply put, this magical place we have
called home for nearly six decades will continue to thrive as a center of educational excellence.
Earlier this month, Purnell's seniors and their families enjoyed a meaningful graduation
ceremony and they are gearing up for their next step in life. Our younger students all found new
homes for the 2021-2022 school year and we wish them the best as they continue their
academic journeys. And just last weekend, we were thrilled to host nearly 200 alumnae at an
open house, honoring our promise to give former students a chance to return to campus before
it changed hands.
We expect the sale to be final later this summer and will provide more details to our alumnae as
they become available. Thank you for your continued support.
Martha Gallo, Co-chair, Board of Trustees
Genevieve Madigan, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees