The Gow School

Securing a route to long-term success

Situated on a sprawling 125-acre campus in South Wales, New York, is The Gow School, a premier boarding and day school for students in grades 6–12 with language-based learning differences, including dyslexia, dyscalculia and auditory processing.

“The path to Gow for a lot of families and a lot of children is typically a pretty bumpy one,” said John Munro, Gow’s Head of School who began his tenure in 2023. “It doesn’t take long for students to realize they have found their people at Gow – others who learn the same way and with teachers who are expertly trained in the way that they think. The students quickly gain confidence.”

Founded in 1926, the school shifted to a nonprofit in the 1970s and became part of the New York State Association of Independent Schools. In 2012, it moved from being an all-boys school to coed, and today, it encompasses 30 buildings and serves more than 100 students from Western New York and throughout the United States. Nearly 100 percent of those students go to college after graduating from Gow.

The Gow School’s Board, which includes parents and former students across the country, knew it wanted to build its endowment fund to secure the future of the school and continue to serve students for many years to come. For decades, the Board focused on building a strong base for its endowment and, in 2019, turned to the Community Foundation to ensure its funds would continue to provide a perpetual stream of funding.

“The Board’s primary focus is the fiscal health and the fiduciary responsibilities of running a school, and they care deeply about long-term financial sustainability,” John said. “As such, I had an immediate level of trust in those decisions that happened before me to move in this direction. It’s an incredibly thoughtful but also strategic and visionary group.”

As he settles further into his new role at the school, John appreciates having a partnership with such a long-standing organization based in Western New York. “Partnering with a local organization is important, and the track record of the Community Foundation builds great confidence in the future of our investments,” he said.


This story is featured in our 2023 Annual Report.