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Honoring Gabe Donnay '08

Accomplished musician and creative marvel. Quick-witted intellectual. Compassionate lover of people. Beloved brother, son, classmate, and friend.

Gabe Donnay '08

Gabriel F. "Gabe" Donnay '08 left this world on Monday, March 29, 2021, the victim of a tragic crime at his Los Angeles home, leaving an unfillable void in those who knew, respected, and loved him.

Four celebrations of life took place following his death two near his home in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles and two in Baltimore. Dozens from the Gilman community and beyond countless loved ones and acquaintances alike — all spoke of Gabe's incredible talents, curiosity, and compassion. 

In memory of his spirit, generosity, and humility and in celebration of Gabe's moral strength and character his brother, Theo '12, close friends from his Middle and Upper School days on Roland Avenue, and his family seek to give back to Gilman in Gabe's name. Please read on for more on Gabe's years at Gilman and the opportunity to honor his remarkable life.

For more on Gabe's SENSELESS death and the resulting outpouring of support from both the east and west coastS, please read this article from the Los Angeles Times.


With support from the Gilman Development Office, Gabe's dearest friends and family wish to give back to Gilman in celebration of his generous spirit by establishing a fund or a named space in his honor.

Giving Goals

The outcome of this giving effort and its ultimate designation is contingent on the level of support and total funds raised in Gabe's honor.

NAMED SPACE ON CAMPUS: Goal - $500,000 - $1 million

Gabe’s love of music started at the age of six, when he began learning the violin. Soon came the piano, the bass, acoustic and electric guitar, the mandolin, the drums, and even the triangle in the Gilman School band. To honor Gabe and to share his love of music for generations to come, we hope to create the Gabe Donnay recording studio at Gilman.

MUSIC TEACHING FELLOW: Incremental Goal - $500,000

Gabe explored and enjoyed all genres of music  classical, jazz, rock and roll, folk, bluegrass and much, much more. Gabe loved his Gilman teachers and coaches. In this spirit, should we exceed our first goal, it would be our hope to endow an annual music fellow to join the Gilman community.

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How Gabe Gave to GILMAN

Gabe's love for music, the performing arts, and the written word, intellectual curiosity, and passion for connecting with people were noteable even when he first came to Gilman in the sixth grade. He wowed audiences performing in three Middle School theater productions. He helped lead Gilman wrestling teams to many victories. He lent his musical talents to the band and the Traveling Men. He shared beautiful prose with his many submissions in Paragon, the Gilman Upper School literary magazine. He filled coffee shops and music halls with the incredible sounds of his voice, guitar, and violin. He inspired his peers to honor Holocaust survivors and their stories as a Becoming the Voice Project participant. He led his senior class as Treasurer and won the hearts and minds of his teachers and coaches, their acknowledgement of his great qualities and talents made known by the many Gilman awards and accolades he received over the years (see full list below).
Gabe offered so much of himself to those he loved...and he loved many...and to Gilman. Thank you for considering a gift to Gilman so that we may honor his life and legacy.
Gabe Donnay Band

A look back: Gabe's Gilman Portfolio

Managing to embrace and find great success in both his passions in adulthood, Gabe was, at the time of his death, directing data science for System1, a digital marketing company in Venice, Calif., by day and creating music as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with the band Satchmode by night. Long before these professional achievements, Gabe was shining a light at Gilman. Revisit his days as a Hound and his many contributions to the School through this electronic portfolio.



Honor Roll:  9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grades

Cum Laudes Society: 2007 and 2008

Brown University Alumni Book Award: 2007

AP Scholar w/Distinction: 2007

Finalist 2008 National Merit Scholar

Armstrong Prize for (Prose): 2008

Janvier Science Prize: 2008


Gabe thundered through a winning season as a member of the 31-man 2003 Middle School Wrestling Team, who, through "hard work and collective dedication lead to the glory of an undefeated season."

First page of the PDF file: 2004CynoWrestlingMS

Eighth grader Gabe and 21 other Gilman Middle School wrestlers, fought their way into the St. Paul's Tournament awards ceremony.

First page of the PDF file: 2004Cyno7844792-93TenLittleIndi

Gabe performed as Phillip Lombard in Gilman and Bryn Mawr's production of Agatha Christie’s "Ten Little Indians."

First page of the PDF file: ParagonSpring2007

Read Gabe's "I Found a Brick This Morning" on page 30 of the Spring 2007 Paragon.

First page of the PDF file: GNewsJune_11_2007Issue_web

Gabe and his bandmates from August are featured in a story in the June 2007 issue of the News. 

First page of the PDF file: GnewsSeptember_05_07Issue

Gabe bylined an article about the new incoming interim Headmaster, Mr. John Schmick, as a contributor to the May 2007 News.

First page of the PDF file: GNewsOctober_19_07Issue

In the October 2007 issue of the News, Gabe shares his thoughts on the must-see shows of the season. Check out his list on page 3.

First page of the PDF file: Winterparagon2008

Spend a moment with Gabe's "One Day at A Time" on page 9. Gabe was also on the Literary Review Board for this Winter 2008 issue of Paragon.

First page of the PDF file: Paragon_Spring08

Gabe's "Harrington Park," a poem tied to impending loss, can be read on page 31 of the Spring 2008 Paragon, yet another literary magazine issue for which Gabe was on the Literary Review Board.



Gabe's 2003 Middle School Play headshot.

Middle School Graduation, 2004

The Gilman faculty would remember Senior Gabe Donnay as "virtuous in all that he does, a wonderful mentor and friend, great musician."