top of page


Universal Promise - Purnell Legacy Fund

What is Universal Promise? 

Universal Promise (UP), founded by former Purnell faculty member Martha Cummings, is an education-focused charity that directly collaborates with schools in South Africa to provide their most-needed "wishes", from computer labs to bathroom renovations. The changes that take place thanks to UP's assistance are tremendous, and the students affected by these donations and projects are empowered in ways that they never previously thought possible. 

The Purnell Alumnae Association has chosen to support Universal Promise, creating a lasting legacy that echoes the education, safety, comfort, and privilege that hundreds of Griffin girls benefited from over the years.  

Two Purnell alumnae -- Bonner Boynton '91 and Bridget Reilly '91 -- joined Martha Cummings on a volunteer trip to South Africa from July 22 to August 2, 2023. Along with other volunteers, they visited schools that were working with UP. A highlight of the trip was visiting Sandisulwazi High School, where over 30 students had recently been outfitted in new school uniforms and shoes, courtesy of Purnell uniform legacy fund donations!


Want to buy a uniform for a South African student? Click here. 


The volunteer group had the opportunity to visit multiple schools that collaborate with UP. Here, Martha and Bonner pose with high school students. 

Students smile about their new solar-powered lanterns, which will allow them to study at night! 

Bridget's long hair was a source of fascination for many of the younger students! 

UP volunteers brought 20 laptops from the US to South Africa for the installation of a new computer lab at one of their partner schools. 

Bridget poses with students who received uniforms as part of Purnell's uniform fund donations!

One of the most heartwarming moments of the trip was when the Purnell crew visited a classroom donated in honor of Head of School Bill Moran. Donations came from former Purnell faculty and friends, who wanted Bill's legacy as a leader to be memorialized through the education of tomorrow's leaders. Bill had the ability to see potential in every Purnell student that came through the doors of Main, and UP and Purnell alumnae are continuing that recognition of potential through their collaboration. 

bottom of page