Kate Daniels, director of academic support, named the inaugural Kiril Sokoloff ’65 Chair.
St. Paul’s School has received a $2.5 million gift commitment from Kiril Sokoloff ’65 of Ketchum, Idaho, to endow the Kiril Sokoloff ’65 Chair in support of a faculty member who is an inspirational leader in the School community demonstrating compassion, kindness, and engagement. The chair was announced in the first faculty meeting of the year, and Director of Academic Support Kate Daniels named its first holder.
A global investment strategist and long-time proponent of compassion, Sokoloff cites the “extraordinary and inspirational leadership” of Rector Kathy Giles in his decision to take his advocacy of compas-sion to this next level. Sokoloff previously established the annual Sokoloff Prize, which funds a selected Fifth Former’s community service project.
“In establishing the Sokoloff Chair, Kiril is investing … in the personal and professional ways a faculty member both acts with compassion and shows everyone what it means in the day-to-day life of the school,” Giles says. “The chair will be a living example of the power of compassion and how it can heal wounds and ease anguish. The creation of this chair is timely, given the stresses and emotional difficulties that COVID has created.”
During their three-year term, the chair-holder will receive a stipend to support their interests, participate in the Sokoloff Prize selection process, and shape how compassion is nurtured at the School.
“I am hopeful that this chair will be highly sought after and recognized as an important milestone in the career of SPS faculty members,” Sokoloff says.
“The Chair will be a living example of the power of compassion and how it can heal wounds and ease anguish.”
— Rector Kathy Giles
In announcing Daniels as the first holder of the new chair, Rector Giles noted her commitment to building relationships with students that bring forth what is best in them; her work directing the Academic Support Office; her roles as head of Manville House, girls cross country coach, and adviser; and her many community engagements.
“Students trust Kate. She works to under-stand, engage, and inspire them, to build those relationships that enable students to start bringing forth themselves and engaging with what we can offer,” Giles says. “Kate models compassion in her own life and her own volunteer work.”
Daniels joined the SPS faculty in 2008 and oversees the Academic Support Office, which helps students reach their academic potential with guidance that complements the support they receive from their teachers and advisers. She describes herself as “incredibly humbled” to be named the first holder of the Sokoloff chair.
“When I learned of its creation, my first thought was of the School Prayer, in which we are asked to be kind, unselfish, thoughtful, and helpful to others — in other words, compassionate,” she says. “How wonderful that because of Mr. Sokoloff’s generosity and commitment to compassion, there is an opportunity to celebrate as well as nurture compassion in our community. I am excited and energized by this award and am eager to share with others.”