Why I Give

Leslie Bloom Dicker '77

Leslie Bloom Dicker '77 and classmate, Cindy Cowherd '77
Leslie Bloom Dicker '77 and classmate, Cindy Cowherd '77

For the parents of Leslie Bloom Dicker ’77, the gift of an education for their daughter was a top priority. Neither Catherine nor Ben Bloom had had the opportunity to attend college, so providing Leslie with the strongest education possible as a foundation for the rest of her life was critical. Leslie recalls her mother’s oft-repeated phrase – “parents can buy their kids all sorts of things, but the most valuable gift is a great education.”

It was because of this thinking that Catherine and Ben enrolled Leslie at the Sunset Hill School as a young girl. They understood Sunset Hill would provide her with a strong academic foundation for college and beyond. One would imagine, however, that they could not have foreseen the impact the school had and continues to have on Leslie’s life academically and in so many other areas.

Sunset Hill is not simply her school but Leslie says it is like her family. As a lifer, she grew up shaped by her classmates and the remarkable faculty and coaches who nurtured and challenged her. She recalls with keen fondness and gratitude women such as French teacher Madame Tron and kindergarten teacher and dietician Mary Catherine See - Mrs. C - whose commitment to the students was reflected in the delicious lunches she prepared. In fact, her recipes were gathered into a cook book published in 1983. She also remembers iconic SHS activities such as Revels and May Day, when the girls made their own hoops. She also loved autumn afternoons spent on the field hockey field as center half-back.

Leslie describes her graduating class of 45 as sharing a remarkable bond of friendship and respect that still exists today. Anyone who attends Pembroke Hill alumni events is well aware of this, as the Class of ’77 is always well represented at any and all on-campus events.

When it was time to consider schools for her own children, Leslie was as committed as her parents were to providing the best education possible and Pembroke Hill was the logical choice. Additionally, she hoped her children would experience the same sense of family she had. During the time her children attended Pembroke Hill, Leslie was almost as active as she had been when she was a student. Her many activities included being a room parent in multiple grades, working in the library with Mrs. Windsor, chaperoning dances, and co-chairing the Awesome Auction in 2006.

With her children well-established in their careers, Leslie created her estate plan. In addition to providing for her family, Leslie also wanted to provide for Pembroke Hill. Her estate gift is in gratitude for her parents and her experience at Sunset Hill and also reflects a desire that future students receive, in the words of her mother “the one gift that can’t be taken away – education.”