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The Spencer Mugford Memorial Fund was established to honor the memory of Spencer Mugford, the oldest son of Director of Enrollment Management Charlie Mugford, who tragically lost his life in May 2018. At IDS, we were lucky enough to get to know Spencer when he came on board for summer work as part of the Fearless Facilities Team. As Spencer worked on facilities projects to improve IDS, he found in Director of Facilities Jim Rumberger a mentor who recognized and appreciated his many gifts. He could always count on members of the administrative team to offer a snack, a laugh, or a listening ear. And in Cameron Culton ’17, Spencer found a young man he could guide and teach as they worked together during the summer of 2017. Spencer was a nature lover. Charlie writes, “As a child Spencer would frequently show up with snakes, black widows, wounded deer, injured birds, and on two occasions actual alligators. He was literally a `Fearless Learner.’ Spencer’s early fascination with animals and the outdoors grew into a deep understanding of the fragility of our world and ultimately a passion for promoting the responsible stewardship of nature in all of its forms.”
In 2016 IDS established “Centers of Excellence,” pulling together curricular threads that have always been a source of strength at the school and establishing a focal point for excellence and innovation. As the Center for Environmental Literacy began to take shape, we dreamed of having an outdoor classroom, a place where children can learn about nature while engaging with it in all its forms. This might be as simple as a clearing in the woods with benches or as elaborate as a treehouse or an insulated yurt. The establishment of a space for hands-on learning about nature would highlight the school’s commitment to teaching children to love and care for the environment. It would allow our students – from 3 year olds through eighth graders – to enjoy a dedicated space to complement the rest of our program.
After Spencer’s death, Charlie Mugford approached us with the idea of building the IDS outdoor environmental education classroom in Spencer’s honor to allow his passion for the environment to live on in future generations of IDS teachers and students. Given Spencer’s love for and intense engagement with nature, we agree that an outdoor classroom at IDS is the right way to remember him.
IDS wants to honor Spencer’s memory and celebrate his time with us by instilling his unique love of the natural world in our students.
We are establishing the Spencer Mugford Memorial Fund to support our efforts to do just that.
To donate by check, please make check payable to IDS and note “Spencer Mugford Memorial Fund” in the memo field.
To donate securities, please email Maggie Dolan, Director of Finance, or Christine Foster, Director of Community Relations, for instructions.