David Lipscomb Campus School receives $10M gift

Donation is largest in school's history

In what likely ranks among the most financially significant contributions to a Nashville-based private school, David Lipscomb Campus School has received a $10 million gift from the Stephens Christian Trust, school officials announced Thursday.

The $10 million donation is the largest monetary donation in the 120-year history of the K-12 David Lipscomb Campus School and the third largest Lipscomb as an institution has ever received. The money is to be used to support the facilities and programs of the campus school, which Lipscomb University operates. 

Nashvillian Bill Stephens, with support from his wife Neika, founded the foundation to support the facilities and programs of the campus school.

“In making this generous gift, the Stephens[es] are enabling us to begin putting form to the vision we have formulated for the campus school in recent years,” Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry said in a release. “We hope to begin the first step in that vision, the renovation of our elementary school on Granny White Pike, within the next 18 months.”

Lowry said the gift is an opening challenge to Lipscomb University as it begins its Lipscomb:Next initiative to invest $125 million in the university and its campus school by the  125th anniversary in 2016.

The initiative includes an additional $12 million investment into the campus school in athletics, academic programs, student development and a new endowment for the school.

Neika Stephens has served on the Lipscomb board of trustees for many years, while Bill Stephens is the former owner of W.E. Stephens Manufacturing Company, a clothing manufacturing entity based in downtown Nashville. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Stephens served in the Navy.

David Lipscomb Campus School is Middle Tennessee’s largest private K-12 school.