When then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan established the Faith in Our Future capital campaign in 2007, among his priorities was the establishment $11 million endowment fund to provide annual tuition assistance for students in need.
More than six years later, the Catholic School Champions Endowment Fund, part of the Faith In Our Future Trust, is providing the monetary assistance it promised.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, during the annual Catholic Schools Dinner at Marquette University, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki and lay trustees of the Faith In Our Future Trust announced that $155,000 was being dispensed to the 94 Catholic elementary schools and the 14 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese.
“The principals will be getting a letter later this week informing them ‘The check’s in the mail,’ and it will be shortly,” according to Mary Ellen Stanek, one of the trust’s three lay trustees.
Stanek, a managing director at Robert W. Baird and Company, and president of the Baird Fund, explained that each elementary school principal will determine how to allocate the money to a family or families in need of tuition assistance. At each high school, the grant, based upon a particular school’s annual tuition, will go to one member of this fall’s incoming freshman class.
Making the grants available now, according to Kristine O’Meara, another trustee, is important.
“Eighth-graders are making decisions about high school,” she said, noting that the availability of such a grant might make it possible for someone to attend a Catholic high school who otherwise could not afford it.
Because affordability is a concern when parents are considering Catholic education for their children, Stanek noted that the grants are not “one and done.”
“We want to build this up each year, so that this year’s grant recipient will receive one at the start of their second year, and another incoming student will receive a grant,” she said.
The hope of the trustees is that at the start of the 2017-2018 school year there will be four students in each high school receiving grants from the Catholic School Champions Endowment Fund.
“This is very exciting,” said O’Meara, an adjunct instructor in the College of Business at Marquette University. “It is so gratifying to know that the donors made this possible, and that we’re able to make Catholic education more affordable.”