Don Bosco Prep
492 N. Franklin Turnpike
Ramsey, NJ 07446
Download Word Doc: Click Here
Request Hi Res Photo: Click here
Release Date: Friday, February 20, 2015
Media Contact: Caryl Bixon-Gordon (201) 796-7788
Largest Initiative in School's History to Fund Campus Expansion, Renovations and Scholarship Program
RAMSEY, N.J., Feb. 20, 2015 – Don Bosco Prep has launched a $10 million fundraising campaign to finance a multi-phase renovation and expansion of the school's facilities, as well as build upon its scholarship endowment. Details of the initiative were announced on January 30 during the school's Centennial Celebration, held at the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel in Mahwah, N.J.
More than 550 alumni, parents, faculty, students and friends attended the event, enjoying a buffet dinner, music and dancing. Each guest received a commemorative centennial paperweight, the first of which had been hand-delivered to Pope Francis earlier in the day. Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of Newark led a morning mass for students, and was presented with a statue of St. John Bosco to commemorate his visit. Bishop John O'Hara of the Archdiocese of New York, a 1963 graduate of Don Bosco Prep, also celebrated the mass and was presented with a centennial paperweight.
"Five years ago, as we realized that the centennial was on the horizon, we began to look ahead to the next century," said Fr. James Heuser, director and president of Don Bosco Prep. "We dreamed of this transformative Centennial Campaign, which would ensure the future of Don Bosco Prep as an institution that empowers young men educationally, spiritually, athletically and as leaders in the community. And the school leadership is committed to making this dream a reality."
To date, $5.8 million has been raised from the campaign, which is the largest in the school's history.
Established in 1915 in a wooden farm house, Don Bosco Prep currently occupies a 35-acre campus comprised of three academic buildings and two athletic complexes. The school has hired Michael Graves Architecture & Design to develop plans for the renovation of existing space as well as construction of a prayer chapel, eight to ten additional classrooms, a new cafeteria and bookstore, an auxiliary gymnasium, locker rooms and office space. These improvements will enable Don Bosco Prep to reduce class size, offer a more productive teaching and learning environment and continue to upgrade its classroom technology and facilities. Construction is slated to begin in early 2016.
"We are proud of the past, and we're looking to provide an experience that raises the bar from what we've already successfully achieved," said alumnus Tom Haskins, chairman of Don Bosco Prep's Board of Trustees in formation. "This is the best time Don Bosco Prep has enjoyed in the last 100 years. We're financially stable and we've got strong leadership in place. We need resources to take us to the next level, so that the next 100 years are even better."
In addition to improving the physical plant, the Centennial Campaign for Don Bosco Prep will allow the school to strategically grow its endowment in order to enhance its financial aid program, support faculty and meet the needs of current and future generations of students.
"We need to ensure that not only is the mission sustained, but it's broadened to the community that today may not be able to afford it," said Haskins.
Don Bosco Prep's 100th birthday celebration features a year-long series of events and activities for students, parents, alumni and community supporters. These include a spring pilgrimage to Rome and Turin, Italy, where founder St. John Bosco's work began, and a Centennial Homecoming Weekend that features two football games. High-profile speakers and church officials will have a presence at the school's annual events: Cardinal Timothy Dolan will lead the mass for the opening of the 101st year in September; and Bishop John O'Hara will serve as commencement speaker for the Class of 2015.
The centennial year's events will conclude with the school's annual President's Gala on November 5, during which individuals and groups will be recognized for the impact they have made on the school over the last 100 years.
Don Bosco Prep offers rigorous academics at the AP, honors and college preparatory levels. Broad offerings are also provided in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics. The school's population averages 850 students representing over 150 towns throughout the metropolitan area.
To learn more about the Centennial Celebration of Don Bosco Prep, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.