A gift of service symbolizing the best of St. Anne's-Belfield School.
Each year, St. Anne's-Belfield School sends its entire freshman class on a week-long service trip to an area of the country that is in need of assistance. Begun in 2009, "Doug's Trip" is named after alumnus Douglas Robert Wardle.
In July of 2007, Douglas Robert Wardle left his home in Charlottesville, Virginia for Managua, Nicaragua, to participate in a service trip to the village of Ticuantepe, with his classmates and his father. An honor student at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Doug was then a rising senior and had recently been elected Student-Body President for the 2007-2008 school year. He was on the varsity soccer team, performed in school plays, and was active in student government. In May of that year, he was awarded the College Book Award for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to learning. His trip to Nicaragua was the second he would take – a trip in which he and his classmates built houses for low-income families. His spirit of service, ever-present smile, and the passion with which he approached his volunteer work in Central America, was a guiding light for his teacher’s, friends, and family.
On August 2nd, 2007, Doug collapsed in Nicaragua and was rushed to a local hospital some miles away, where doctors discovered a rare congenital hemorrhage in his brain. Doug passed away that day, leaving life as he loved to live it: in the service of others.
With their graduation approaching, Doug’s senior classmates, the St. Anne’s-Belfield School Class of 2008, joined their parents in dedicating their senior class gift to Doug’s memory. Their gift was unlike anything the school had received in its nearly 100-year history. It was a gift of service – funding for the rising freshman class to travel as a group to a location where their energy and empathy would have a genuine impact. In 2009, the inaugural year of “Doug’s Trip,” the freshman class traveled to Pass Christian, Mississippi to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Each subsequent year, the freshman class has returned to the area to pick up where their classmates left off.