Sewickley Academy to Receive Largest Financial Gift in the School's History

The Tull Family Foundation’s $20 Million Donation Will Fund a Diverse Range of Capital Improvement Projects Designed to Maintain the Academy’s Stature as a Top-Tier Education Destination.
SEWICKLEY, PA – Sewickley Academy, Pittsburgh’s oldest co-educational college-preparatory and independent day school, is proud to announce it has received the largest single gift in the school’s 184-year history from the Tull Family Foundation. The $20 million donation will fund a transformative set of projects and initiatives that will significantly impact the Academy’s academic and athletic offerings and expand access to the school through an increased scholarship program.
The Tull Family Foundation is committed to supporting STEM-based educational initiatives and athletic opportunities which are designed to help level the playing field.
“We could not be more thrilled by the possibilities a donation of this magnitude brings to the Academy,” said Dr. Ashley Birtwell, Head of Sewickley Academy. “As we continue to position the Academy for the future and prepare for the next 100 years, it is critical that we put in place now the academic programs and infrastructure necessary to ensure our place in this community for years to come. This generous donation from the Tulls enables us to do just that.”
Sewickley Academy Board of Trustees Chair Kate (Poppenberg ’82) Pigman added: “From dramatically revamping our STEM and computer science curriculum to recruiting the best teachers and building best-in-class facilities, this is a game-changing moment for the school and cements its position as a center for academic excellence in both the region and the country.”

The donation will fund a wide range of initiatives at the Academy, with a primary focus on:
  • Program enhancements including the establishment of strategic partnerships with regional universities and educational institutions, expanded and intensified course offerings such as summer electives and college counseling services, and increasing STEM class offerings and faculty;
  •  A new comprehensive scholarship initiative that will enable greater access and opportunities to attend Sewickley Academy, including funding Merit Aid Scholarships and additional resources for 20 incoming Middle and Senior School students for the duration of their studies at the Academy;
  •  An advanced computer science center that will include enhanced equipment, state-of-the-art robotics and advanced computer science labs, expanded department faculty, and increased curriculum offerings including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and advanced robotics;
  •  Improved facilities across the Academy’s campus to ensure they are state-of-the-art and cutting-edge, from the computer science center mentioned above to overhauling the school’s athletic facilities.

About Sewickley Academy
Sewickley Academy, founded in 1838, is a private, college-preparatory academy in Western Pennsylvania preparing exceptional children for extraordinary lives. Sewickley Academy offers a welcoming environment for students from all backgrounds throughout the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The Academy’s culture and programs stand on four legacy values: Character, Educational Vigor, Community, and Diversity.
Sewickley Academy's graduating class of 2021 achieved 94% admission to a top-choice college with SAT scores averaging 1301, 250 points above the national average. Nearly half (49%) of the class were recognized as AP scholars and 16% were recruited athletes. Of the current
Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 student body, 34% are diverse and 50% are female, representing 42 of the region's school districts. For more information, visit

 About the Tull Family Foundation (TFF)
The Tull Family Foundation (TFF) was founded by Thomas and Alba Tull to support organizations that are devoted to transforming the lives of the people in underserved and underfunded communities. A private foundation, TFF funds the advancement of innovative ideas in education, medical and scientific research, and conservation. Some of the local institutions supported by TFF include: the Carnegie Science Center; Community College of Allegheny County to support their workforce development program; the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to support pediatric research and art therapy programs; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to support Neuro Imaging and Therapeutics; Robert Morris University to support the RMU Century Initiatives and Innovation Fund; the National Little League to fund access to better equipment for teams in underserved areas of Pittsburgh; the Mel Blount Youth Leadership Initiative; and the Best of the Batch to support their STEAM program.