When their oldest child started kindergarten at The Lovett School last fall, Justin and Jessica Jones established a new routine: Justin would drop Gunner off in the morning, and Jessica would pick him up in the afternoon.
For the busy parents of three—and soon to be four—young children, the arrangement just made sense. But it has offered an unexpected benefit: a chance for the 1997 Lovett graduates to reflect on the place that shaped their own growing-up years.
“There’s more introspection than you’d expect,” Justin says. “I think a lot about my time at Lovett as I watch my son run into the building wearing a uniform similar to the one I wore. It gets me thinking back to what the school was like when I was there, and what it did for me.”
Justin and Jessica point to the small classes and strong academics at The Lovett School as foundational to their college success: for Jessica at Southern Methodist University and for Justin at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Georgetown University.
But the influence of the school goes beyond college. Justin’s career has taken him to Singapore, London, and New York City. Now vice president of international business at Heritage Plastics Inc., in Atlanta, Justin praises Lovett’s whole-child philosophy, which teaches students to thrive and contribute in any environment.
“One of the things you fear for your children is that they’ll end up entitled or unaware of the world around them, and the struggle that exists in other aspects of the world—things they may not see in our ZIP code,” he says. “Lovett does a good job of bringing people in to speak with students and getting students out of school for service-learning projects.”
A member of the Legacy Society Committee, Justin has been active in asking his peers to consider leaving a legacy at Lovett to build the school’s endowment. “This is our way of paying it forward,” he says. “Yesterday’s supporters afforded us an amazing opportunity and now it is our turn to help tomorrow’s students.”
Justin adds, “The key to a strong and sustainable financial future for Lovett is the Legacy Society. A more substantial endowment to help fund the school is the only way I can see to keep up with growing capital demands without pricing much of our demographic out of the school. Without this, our grandchildren may not have the Lovett opportunity.”
“We had such wonderful experiences ourselves,” Jessica adds. “We want Lovett to continue to create more and more of those amazing opportunities for today’s children. We completely believe in what they do.”