Lancaster Catholic High School unveiled a capital campaign on Nov. 12 in support of a $12.7 million initiative that will transform the educational, extracurricular and spiritual lives of future students.
The “Cherish, Love and Honor” campaign was formally introduced during a press conference in the school’s gym, and livestreamed to hundreds of alumni, community leaders and benefactors.
The historic announcement in the 92-year history of Lancaster Catholic is the culmination of more than two years of planning by the school board and more than 100 stakeholders. The long-range strategic plan will result in the complete renovation of Lancaster Catholic, within its current footprint, over the next decade.
Tim Hamer, school president, said Phase 1A of the project is a STEM Innovation Center that will equip the school with science, biomedical, engineering and other STEM classrooms. This phase of the project is expected to begin in the summer of 2021.
Phase 1B includes a state-of-the art auditorium and a Catholic Student Life Center. The auditorium will enhance the school’s Liturgies and fine-and-performing arts. The student center will house a student commons and dining hall. Phase 1B is projected for 2022-2023.
“I am delighted to announce that our Cherish, Love and Honor Campaign’s Phase I is well underway,” President Hamer said in the press conference. “The total cost of Phase 1 is projected to be $12.7 million. It is with enormous gratitude and pride that I am able to announce that our campaign has secured $8.75 million in gifts and pledges, around 70 percent of that goal.”
“Lancaster Catholic has established an unrivaled tradition of excellence and service. We are all standing on the shoulders of pioneers, especially the priests and legion of nuns who poured out their lives in support of our 16,000 alums over four generations,” he said. “To continue to serve the next four generations of students, we ask all those who benefitted from Catholic High to pay it forward by supporting this campaign.”
Sophomore Rachel Sahd, a third-generation student at Lancaster Catholic, expressed gratitude to benefactors.
“The fact that our benefactors are helping transform our current, outdated classrooms into a state-of-the-art innovation center that my class – as well as future generations of Crusaders – can utilize is truly remarkable. Each room will be equipped with the newest technologies and we will be able to learn the latest techniques, thanks to the new program that LCHS has taken on.”
“I would like to thank everyone that helped make this possible. Your investment into Lancaster Catholic continues to change lives like mine,” she said.
Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Gerry Ganse and John Jacunski conveyed their confidence in the campaign and their conviction in a Lancaster Catholic education.
Jacunski, a parent of three graduates, said, “I couldn’t be happier with the formation that they received from this school: the spiritual development, the development of a strong moral compass, their leadership capabilities and academics.”
“We have a great opportunity here, and I’m very happy that the STEM center is one of the first things that will be done as part of this Capital Campaign, to give future students the opportunity to enhance their learning,” he said.
Ganse, a graduate of the Class of 1967 and Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “I am pleased to say today that we are standing on the doorsteps of renovation of this building, described by our architects as having good bones. These good bones have supported Catholic education in the Lancaster Deanery for over 90 years…. Our Lancaster Catholic community is ready to provide a new look to these good bones.”
He asked for graduates, parents, community members and businesses for their support of the capital campaign. “It is time for all those that have walked these halls at one time or another to pay it forward for generations of students to come, who will be strengthened by the good bones of this institution,” he said.
President Hamer concluded the press conference with a resounding call of support for the campaign.
“Our goal is to ensure that our students today and tomorrow continue to benefit from an education of the very highest quality, and that requires 21st Century schools,” he said. “How valuable are tomorrow’s leaders to you? I invite everyone who has benefitted from, and supports the mission of Lancaster Catholic to participate in our campaign. Together, we’ll make sure that the next four generations of our students become the intellectually astute, passionately faithful and socially responsible leaders we desperately need to change the world for the better.”
Learn more about the Cherish, Love and Honor Capital Campaign at Lancaster Catholic’s newly-launched campaign website: www.cherishlovehonor.com.
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness