Make a pledge by Friday for your donation to be tripled!

Posted on January 8th, 2013


We have a group of generous donors who have offered to give $2 for every $1 that is given or pledged by this Friday, January 11. Although 2012 is behind us, you can still show your support by making a pledge for 2013. Your gift will be tripled by our matching partners if you pledge by this Friday, January 11. Here is how:

  1. Visit our secure donate page.
  2. Call our office directly: 423.308.1855
  3. E-mail your information.

Our matching partners have challenged us to raise $100,000. We still need $30,000 by this Friday, January 11, to reach this goal. Please join us now while we still have this opportunity to give $300,000 toward improving Adventist education.

We would like to extend our appreciation to those who have already donated toward our Matching Program. Your donation will help AAF build the Renaissance Network, which gives Adventist schools the people, systems, technology and practices needed to become centers of excellence. Follow this link to see where your dollar goes. Our first school in the Renaissance Network, Thunderbird Adventist Academy, has seen excellent results and is looking forward to advancing even more in 2013.


Do you know an amazing teacher who deserves recognition? There are only a couple of weeks left to nominate a teacher for an Excellence in Teaching Award. Each recipient will receive a $2,000 cash gift, a certificate of excellence and public recognition throughout the North American Division. Help us recognize the best teachers in our school system by submitting a nomination here. Make sure that the completed nomination form is postmarked by January 22, 2013.

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2012 Year in Review

Posted on December 18th, 2012

A year and a half has gone by since we launched the Renaissance Network at Thunderbird Adventist Academy. Without God’s guidance and the support of generous donors and like-minded organizations, none of the progress would have been possible.

The accomplishments at Thunderbird have generated a lot of interest to join the Renaissance Network—more than our capacity allows as we are funded solely by donations. But with a new year nearly upon us, we are looking forward to expanding the Network to two more schools for the 2013-2014 school year.

Below is a quick review of milestones reached this year.

January – Dormitory renovation preparations began at Thunderbird. The Commonweal Foundation contributed $300,000 for materials and Maranatha Volunteers International gathered a group of talented volunteers.

FebruaryMore than 60 Maranatha volunteers descended on Thunderbird’s campus and completed more than $70,000-worth of labor. Watch a video about the project here.

March – We launched AAF’s first-ever print newsletter.

May – After assisting Thunderbird in a year-long search for a permanent principal, Rick Maloon accepted the offer for the position. Maloon came with a successful background in teaching, administration and business.

June – We honored 10 outstanding teachers with an Excellence in Teaching Award and $2,000.

July – With such successful first-year results, Thunderbird signed on for a second year of partnership with the Renaissance Network. We wrote about it in AAF’s summer issue of our print newsletter.

August – We joined thousands of teachers and principals in Nashville, Tenn., for the NAD Teachers’ Convention. We met with over 1,500 people at our booth and hosted two breakout sessions about the Renaissance Network.

September – Thunderbird experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in enrollment since the school originally signed on with the Renaissance Network.

October – The AAF Board of Directors met to discuss the expansion of the Renaissance Network in 2013. It was decided to take two more schools. We published the fall issue of our print newsletter.

November – Our peer-reviewed article on enrollment, funding and governance was published in the Journal of Adventist Education.

December – On Giving Tuesday we launch our 2012 matching program. This year we had a group of generous donors come forward to match every $1 that comes in with $2 – even pledges for 2013! All of the dollars that come in will go directly to growing the Renaissance Network.

​As we plan for 2013, we ask for your continued prayer and support.

Did you miss the progress of our first Network School?

  • Read specifics on Thunderbird Adventist Academy improvements through their education and business plan here.
  • See Renovation Phase 1 photos here.
  • Learn the ins-and-outs of how the Renaissance Network works here.

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Where Does Your Dollar Go?

Posted on November 30th, 2012

To principals and business managers who want to see results
Each school is paired with a management team of education professionals that vision, guide and provide accountability. These professionals help create business and education plans for the school.


To teachers desiring professional development
Renaissance teachers are provided the resources and opportunities to learn, grow and become exceptional in their field. Which in turn, brings greater excellence to the school and system as a whole.


To students desiring an Adventist education
Schools we work with will track the progress of individual students and use data to improve teaching. Rigorous and relevant coursework will afford students the best college-bound educational experience available.

To school communities needing to kickstart their fundraising
Each school receives an in-depth analysis and guidance writing a capital-campaign program as well as matching funds for special projects.


To changing the way we “do” Adventist education
The Renaissance Network will demonstrate best practices in Adventist education to improve the system as a whole.

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Giving Tuesday: Official AAF Matching Program Launch

Posted on November 27th, 2012

Today, on Giving Tuesday, we officially launched our holiday matching program! Now through January 11 every $1 that is given will be tripled!

This huge opportunity to impact Adventist education was made possible by a group of donors who promised to match every dollar that comes in with $2 of their own! They want to help Adventist education reach its full potential, and they want you to join them. This means your $35 becomes $105, your $250 becomes $750, your $500 becomes $1,500…you get the idea!

To help promote our matching program we are having a Facebook drawing. Anyone that “Shares” the Giving Tuesday photo will be entered to win two iTunes gift cards—1 for you and 1 for your favorite Adventist teacher.

If you would like to enter the drawing click on the photo below and “Share” the post. (You will need to have a Facebook account and already be logged in before clicking the link.)

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday?
We have a day for giving thanks. We have three for getting deals (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday). This year big-hearted people are banning together with nonprofits to help create Giving Tuesday—a new day for giving back. Today, Tuesday November 27, 2012, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will have come together to create Giving Tuesday.

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AAF Peer Reviewed Article Published

Posted on November 27th, 2012

Our peer-reviewed article on enrollment, funding and governance in Adventist academies was published in the Journal of Adventist Education this month!

In September of 2010, AAF sent an online survey to every academy principal in the North American Division. An astounding 93 out of 108 principals replied, which caused us to take a closer look at the responses.

The purpose of the survey was to assess what principals thought about the current state of Adventist education. AAF hoped to gain a better understanding in order to develop the Renaissance Network into a useful, relevant solution for Adventist schools. The information received from the principals was so rich we knew it had to be shared.

AAF formulated questions for the study using a standard school assessment survey and then added questions unique to Adventist education. The survey addressed many challenges that principals face on a day-to-day basis: enrollment, funding, governance and other issues that concern the school system.

Riley Graves oversaw the completion of the peer-reviewed article with help of a research professor at Southern Adventist University, Dr. Linda Potter Crumley. Dr. Crumley brought over 20 years of research experience to the project and ensured that it was professional and accurate.

Click here for the full article.

Continue reading…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 21st, 2012

This Thanksgiving we are so very thankful for each person that  is impacting Adventist education. Thank you for believing in, praying for and supporting innovation in Adventist education.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

—Your Friends at the Alumni Awards Foundation

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Don't Miss "The Network Issue"

Posted on November 7th, 2012

Have you been wondering how the Renaissance Network actually works? Get the details in “Network Issue” of our newsletter. The inside spread maps out the program structure and answers some frequently asked questions. If you would like even more information about the Renaissance Network don’t hesitate to contact us.
Click on the newsletter bellow to view the entire issue.

If you would like to begin receiving our newsletter email us at Please include your name and address.

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Don’t Miss “The Network Issue”

Posted on November 7th, 2012

Have you been wondering how the Renaissance Network actually works? Get the details in “Network Issue” of our newsletter. The inside spread maps out the program structure and answers some frequently asked questions. If you would like even more information about the Renaissance Network don’t hesitate to contact us.

Click on the newsletter bellow to view the entire issue.

If you would like to begin receiving our newsletter email us at Please include your name and address.

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Thunderbird Mourns Loss of Student

Posted on September 17th, 2012

Join us in prayer for the family, faculty and students at Thunderbird Adventist Academy. We are deeply saddened by the loss of their dear student and friend, Andrew Murphy. During this time, we claim the promise that Jesus will return soon, reunite us and take us to heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:52-58

Official News Report Link

Official Statement from Thunderbird Adventist Academy

Dear Friends and Family of Thunderbird Adventist Academy–

It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the loss of one of our Thunderbird students, Andrew Murphy, a junior. On Thursday afternoon, September 13th, Andrew tragically lost his life while heroically intervening and ultimately saving his sister’s life.

Continue reading…

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2012 NAD Teachers' Convention Recap

Posted on August 30th, 2012

We had a great time connecting with educators from all over the North American Divison at the 2012 NAD Teachers’ Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Over 1,400 people visited our booth and participated in our live survey. We asked attendees, “What would you like to see more of in Adventist Schools?” Here are the results:
What would you like to see more of in Adventist Schools?

  • Advanced Placement, Honors and Dual Credit Courses
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Student Support Services (i.e. Counseling, Assessment)
  • Better Technology in the Classroom

And the winner is… drum roll please…. Student Support Services with over 600 votes! Student support services is the category educators want to see more of in Adventist schools.
The other categories scored: Better Technology – 500, Extra Curricular Activites – 175, and Advanced Courses – 175. Thank you to everyone who came by and voted!
For more photos from the convention, click here.

We also gave away an iPad to one lucky voter… Congrats Jessica Leccese from New Hampshire! We hope you love your new iPad and use it in your classroom all the time!

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