Do you remember Studio Art in Mingea Cottage, your escape to the infirmary because you were "sick," or your first kiss on the lawn in front of the old white farmhouse?
Mingea Cottage, VES’s oldest building, has seen the school's entire history play out and its presence as the oldest part of VES's campus gives it an institutional de facto landmark status. It is a touchstone of history for all of us who have been students and faculty there.
What makes VES special that might inspire its alumni to give? Of course, our teachers and the friendships we formed matter most, but it is the spaces we remember, steeped in history and tradition, that elicit sentiment and pride and motivate the generosity of alumni. Please help remind VES that Mingea matters by signing the below petition.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. - Proverbs 23:10
(1) As VES approaches its centennial, it would be reckless for the school to demolish its oldest building. Mingea’s presence as the oldest part of the school campus gives it an institutional de facto landmark status.
(2) Mingea links VES to the romance of history: early Virginia families, the American Revolution, the area’s bucolic past, and our school’s beginnings. It is a touchstone of history for all of us who have been students or faculty there.
(3) Mingea’s unusual name traces to VES’s earliest days when our first benefactor, Wilton E. Mingea, insisted that “If Virginia were a part of the name, the school would have a history from the day of its opening.”
(4) Upon Wilton Mingea’s death, our school's founder Bishop Jett placed a plaque on the old farmhouse, which read, “In Memory, Wilton E. Mingea, initial benefactor of the Virginia Episcopal School and its unfailing friend.” If VES is willing to tear down a building named for its first benefactor, what confidence would potential donors have that VES would keep rather than tear down buildings they might consider giving?
(5) Three of the most prominent architectural historians in the Commonwealth of Virginia have asked the Board of Trustees not to demolish Mingea.
(6) Jay Hight, the most beloved teacher and faculty advisor in the history of VES, who gave our school 36 years of his life and, with his family, gave VES its third largest financial donation, edited and signed a letter in the last months of his life asking VES to save Mingea Cottage.