The rumor started flying through the hallways of central Pennsylvania's Mercersburg Academy even before the first bell rang out Thursday.
What began in hushed tones in the 120-year-old prep school grew in volume to shock and awe as it was confirmed that alumna Deborah Simon was on campus to announce a $100 million donation.
The present equaled the second-largest gift to a private secondary school in American history.
"It's exciting for sure," said Mike Sweeney, head of the math department.
The donation will go toward the $300 million Daring to Lead Campaign, aimed at making the $52,000-a-year boarding school more affordable for lower- and middle-income students. It will also fund more educational programs, teacher training, and off-campus experiences, said academic dean Julia Stojack Maurer.