St. Thomas More High School has announced the school’s one-day Giving Tuesday campaign raised nearly $20,000, with a median gift of only $100.

Featuring video testimonials from school administrators and a parent volunteer, St. Thomas More’s Giving Tuesday campaign raised funds to increase the connectivity within the school community, allowing students, parents, alumni, and other guests to participate in live events while maintaining safe physical distancing.

With this funding, St. Thomas More will purchase a large, retractable display screen and a high-definition projector for its auditorium. This purchase will equip the auditorium with similar technology that currently exists in the Learning Commons, which was renovated as part of the school’s 2016 capital campaign, and yje Jerry Huennekens Gymnasium, which benefited from the school’s 2018 GivingTuesday campaign.

As the school commemorates its 150th anniversary of serving young people on Milwaukee’s south side, this upgraded technology will permit St. Thomas More to simulcast school, alumni and community events in the auditorium, Learning Commons, and Jerry Huennekens Gymnasium all at once, greatly expanding the number of guests who can safely participate.

“An upgraded auditorium will allow St. Thomas More to physically distance students attending an all-school assembly, patrons watching a theater performance, alumni celebrating Mass and other events for our school community,” St. Thomas More President Mary McIntosh said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced society to adjust, but with this additional technology, the St. Thomas More community, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, can remain connected in these increasingly distant times.”

With history dating back to 1870, when Catholic Normal School and Pio Nono College opened on the grounds where St. Thomas More is now located, St. Thomas More began its 150th school year in August. This year’s 150th anniversary celebrations will culminate with an all-school Mass and Reunion on June 19 at St. Thomas More High School. This year’s successful Giving Tuesday campaign will drastically enhance St. Thomas More’s celebration of this historic event.

“The 150th anniversary celebrations will be such a great opportunity to not only reflect on our deep, rich history but also to celebrate an extremely bright future for St. Thomas More,” board member and finance committee chair Eric Conner said. “Gathering together as one community in these times will be something to see, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

Since 2014, donors have contributed more than $60,000 to St. Thomas More for Giving Tuesday. Last year’s campaign allowed St. Thomas More to join the more than 1,000 school districts, technical centers, medical schools, and universities that use zSpace — an innovative software that uses augmented and virtual reality to enhance experiential learning for students in multiple fields of study.

“I am humbled by the generosity of our alumni, parents, and other benefactors who supported our Giving Tuesday campaign,” said McIntosh. “This year’s campaign not only surpassed its goal of $15,000 but was also the best Giving Tuesday campaign since St. Thomas More joined the movement in 2014. We are truly blessed.”