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Midway Through its 100th Year, Don Bosco Prep Takes Stock of Centennial Campaign
Largest Initiative in School’s History to Fund Campus Expansion, Renovations and Scholarship Program
RAMSEY, N.J., July 28, 2015 – As part of its 100th birthday observance, Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey launched a Centennial Campaign on January 30 to help ensure that the school’s legacy will continue into the next century. The Campaign has a fundraising goal of $10 million for major capital improvements and new construction at the private, Catholic, college preparatory high school. Funds raised will enable the school to reduce class size, better allocate space campus-wide for students and faculty, bring top technology to classrooms, and increase its endowment to enable more area students to receive a Don Bosco education.
These goals and the concept for the Centennial Campaign came out of a strategic planning process initiated five years ago when Don Bosco Prep’s director and president, Father James Heuser, arrived on campus.
“With such an important milestone approaching, it was critical that we identify our strengths and our challenges, and develop a strategic plan to help us reach our goals to provide the best possible academic and spiritual experience for our students,” said Heuser.
Founded in 1915, Don Bosco Prep provides young men in grades 9-12 with a high-quality education through its mission to develop strong moral ethics and a pathway to the country’s best colleges. Located on a 35-acre campus in Ramsey, the school offers rigorous academics at the AP, honors and college preparatory levels, as well as broad offerings in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics. The average population of 850 students represents 150 towns throughout the metropolitan area.
At the Centennial halfway mark the school has raised approximately $7.5 million, and officials are delighted to see the strong participation and support of its alumni as well as current student families.
“We are so appreciative of the response we’ve received from our alumni, families and friends. Everyone is very excited about the opportunities that these changes will bring to our young men and faculty,” said Carmela Raiti, vice president of institutional advancement. “These improvements will enable Don Bosco Prep to maintain the vitality of our campus and academic excellence of our programs in the years to come.”
A Far-Reaching Brotherhood Fuels Don Bosco’s Future
An outstanding aspect of Don Bosco Prep student life is the strong collegiality and bonds that are fostered there. Raiti said that the Centennial experience has highlighted the longstanding loyalty of alumni and their families.
“Many former students have reconnected with our faculty or have shared memories of when they’ve needed the fraternity of the school behind them and it was there,” said Raiti. “This sense of brotherhood, unusual on the high school level, has left an indelible mark among Don Bosco Prep families and translated into tremendous support of our Centennial Campaign.”
Raiti said that since the Campaign’s launch, several alumni have created matching gift programs privately and through their workplaces. Some have been telling classmates about the Campaign and inspiring them to support it, making calls or sending letters; others are hosting gatherings in their homes.
In addition, since alumni are located throughout the U.S., the school has been holding Centennial celebration events around the country so that alumni in various regions can personally hear about Campaign updates and the mission behind it, which Raiti noted has also contributed greatly to its success. Additional celebration events are scheduled for the fall.
Funding the Next Century of Academic Excellence
Don Bosco Prep is located amid some of Bergen County’s best school districts, and the administration is intent on ensuring that a high-quality Catholic school and Salesian education remain a viable and important option for area families. Fr. Heuser noted that the school’s overarching mission—to provide excellent academics and to develop spiritual vitality, strong leadership skills and distinction in athletics and the arts—is what drives the mission of the Centennial Campaign.
“We encourage our young men to think big and aim high, and as an educational institution we must have all the elements in place to support and guide them along the path to success,” he said. “This Campaign enables us to fulfill our responsibility, and to make concrete the vision we have for ourselves as a school and for our students.”
To learn more about the Centennial Celebration of Don Bosco Prep, please contact email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Graves Architecture & Design