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November 17, 2019

Schools

From left: Greenwich Country Day School Headmaster Adam Rohdie, Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss, incoming GCDS Board of Trustees President Vicki Craver and current GCDS Board of Trustees President and Capital Campaign Chair Dan Offit.
From left: Greenwich Country Day School Headmaster Adam Rohdie, Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss, incoming GCDS Board of Trustees President Vicki Craver and current GCDS Board of Trustees President and Capital Campaign Chair Dan Offit.

CT’s Largest Private School Gets Its Largest Gift Ever: $10M From Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss

Former President George H. W. Bush. WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon. Actress Bryce Dallas Howard. These three are but some of the noteworthy graduates of Greenwich Country Day School, a co-ed, private day school in the town since 1926 which, with its acquisition of the former Stanwich School in 2017, is now the largest independent private school (grades K-12) in Connecticut.

Along with this growth, have come new buildings and new funding—most notably in a donation of $10 million ($5 million apiece) from two other rather famous Greenwich Country Day alums: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. This is the school’s largest gift to date and the Winklevoss brothers' largest donation ever.

The twins are famous as members of the U.S. crew team in the Beijing Olympics as well as for "The Social Network" book and movie and their Facebook settlement (which helped with the funding to invest in Bitcoin and their becoming successful internet entrepreneurs and  billionaires). They were in attendance on campus for a special groundbreaking ceremony during half-time of the school’s homecoming football game at the 257 Stanwich Road campus. The funds will be used for a brand new performing arts center, the Amanda Gesine Winklevoss Performing Arts Center, named for Cameron and Tyler’s sister, among other organizational investments.

Part of the graduating class of 1997 (attending from kindergarten to 8th grade), the Winklevoss brothers credit the school with teaching them how to achieve and leaving them with confidence and the understanding of how to meet whatever challenge they put their minds to. They told Daily Voice Plus that they carried these lessons with them as Olympic athletes and today as entrepreneurs. 

With their gift, their intention is that the new high school be positioned to prepare students for this future better than any other school in the world.

According to the twins, Greenwich Country Day provided an incredibly nurturing community that gave them an incredible platform on which to grow both inside and out of the classroom; those were truly transformative years that helped make them into the people they are today.

When the brothers attended GDS, the internet was still something shiny and new and not readily available in a classroom. Can you imagine a school not connected today? Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss told Daily Voice Plus that they believe a person’s ability to creatively interact with machines in the future will be critical to their ability to navigate the world. With their gift, their intention is that the new high school be positioned to prepare students for this future better than any other school in the world.

“The fact that it is being built de novo today is a huge advantage,” noted the twins. “It will not be changing its stripes, technology will be embedded in its DNA from the beginning.”

According to Cameron and Tyler, the students and faculty are ultimately what make GCDS so special. The two have lifelong friendships with their classmates and love going back to campus and catching up with teachers who taught them 25 years ago.They enjoy seeing so many of their classmates, who now have families of their own and who have chosen GCDS for their children. They think that says everything.

“We loved our time at GCDS and wish we could have stayed through high school,” they said in a statement to Daily Voice Plus. “This donation is the perfect way to both honor our sister and help build the future of GCDS.”