Dear Friend of The Academy,

Dunham, Craig (mug)

Craig Dunham serves as Head of School of The Academy of Classical Christian Studies.

Earlier this week, I spoke at an Academy chapel about what just might be the ugliest word in the English language. Students immediately began wondering what the word might be (while I’m sure teachers began wondering why Mr. Dunham was about to share it with them).

I did my best to build up their anticipation. “The ugliest word in the English language is…students, are you sure you’re ready?” Groans. “Okay, okay. The ugliest word in the English language is…teachers, I forgot to ask you, are you ready?” More groans, along with a few students pleading, “Mr. Dunham!”

Finally, I made good on my promise. “The ugliest word in the English language is…‘mine’.”

Silence. This was not the word they anticipated, yet they – even the youngest of them – seemed to understand, especially when I gave a few examples, saying the word as a two-year-old might:

  • “What if a teacher said, ‘Today is mine, and I don’t feel like coming to school?’”
  • “What if a parent said, ‘Today is mine, and I don’t feel like driving my child to school?’”

Each of these scenarios was, of course, hard for them to believe. But neither more so than this:

  • “What if Jesus told His Father, ‘Today is mine, and I don’t feel like being born as a baby in a manger, living 33 years on Earth, and dying for people who don’t deserve it?’”

I then read Paul’s words from Philippians 2:4-11:

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The students got it: mine” becomes the ugliest word when we name what we have no intention of sharing. As I told the students, “mine” was never a word Megan and I had to teach our four girls when they were little; they seemed to have learned it…from us! Thankfully, as Jesus always does, He redeems our selfishness through sacrifice…and calls us as His disciples to do the same.

Miss Wagner Classroom (small)ANOTHER YEAR AT THE ACADEMY
As we do at this time each year, we are writing our friends to ask you to prayerfully consider giving to The Academy of Classical Christian Studies Scholarship Fund. This fund is an important part of our annual budget, as it enables our school – through your tax-deductible gifts – to help current families struggling financially to re-enroll and continue with us another year.

Through the generosity of our friends last year, we awarded over $66,000 in scholarship funds to 28 different families with a total of 58 current Academy students, some or all of whom would not have been able to re-enroll otherwise. Each family walked through the process set by our Board of Governors, outlined on our website, and superintended by our Scholarship Committee last April.

To be sure, the significance of this provision did not go unnoticed by those who received it. Below are just two examples of the heartfelt gratitude we received in response to our scholarship allocation letter last year:

“The scholarship amount is such a blessing to our family. We do accept this scholarship with tremendous gratitude to the Scholarship Committee. It is an honor to be a part of our special school.”

“I cannot tell you what an answer to prayers that letter was. The Academy has been such a blessing to our lives, and we are privileged to be part of such a fantastic school. Please thank all those involved in deciding that we would receive this gift, as well as all who donated. We are grateful.”

South Grammar (small)These scholarship recipients are thankful for the opportunity to take full part in The Academy! As we hope and trust you have, they have enjoyed our Academy class festivals, field trips, house feasts and service projects, kickball tournaments, Spirit Days, music and theater performances, cross country races and basketball games, LEGO robotics competitions, art and instrument tutelage, recitations and debate competitions…all in addition to the most comprehensive classical Christian curriculum offered in multiple educational models and with the most caring teachers and administration in the Oklahoma City metro.

This is the blessing that giving Academy friends have made possible for others who need a little help to return. None are looking for a free handout; in fact, every family receiving scholarship is expected to pay at least half of their child’s tuition, which most families want to do, but if they have multiple children, sometimes they could use some assistance with that last thousand dollars.

Our goal this year is to raise $70,000 by December 31 in dedicated scholarship funds. Here’s one permutation of how we might reach our year-end goal:

6 friends giving $5,000 each    =          $30,000
18 friends giving $1,000 each    =          $18,000
22 friends giving $   500 each    =          $11,000
24 friends giving $   250 each    =          $ 6,000
20 friends giving $   125 each    =          $ 2,500
20 friends giving $     75 each    =          $ 1,500
20 friends giving $     50 each    =          $ 1,000

What would happen if every one of our friends gave something? Might we raise twice as much – three times as much! – for scholarship, helping two or three times as many families?

Would you prayerfully consider a year-end gift to our Academy Scholarship Fund? All gifts are tax-deductible. To give, go to or send a check (made out to The Academy) with the enclosed response card to:

The Academy of Classical Christian Studies
1120 E. Hefner Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73131

As we teach our children to “Love the True, the Good, the Beautiful,” let us encourage one another to recognize God’s resources not as “ours” or “mine,” but as “His”…for truly they are.

With grateful hearts for your prayers and partnership,

Craig Dunham                                Nathan Carr
Head of School                               Provost

P.S.: Our year-end Scholarship Fund is the second of three annual fundraisers. The first was our Western Wingding (focused on teachers and classroom needs) in October, and we’re pleased to announce that our third and final fundraiser (focused on general operations) will be the last weekend of March, with the establishment of our end-of-winter Giving Gala. This new annual event replaces last February’s auction and combines elements of last May’s Vision Event. We’ll announce the official date and theme in early January and hope you will plan to join us then!

PPS: As we finish up the school year (and before we begin again next month), we’d be remiss not to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2015!