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Our Current Situation? Gratitude!

We live in a constant state of gratefulness at St. Benedict’s Prep.

It’s with us every morning at Convocation when we say, “I love you. You’re worth it.” Gratitude kept us going through COVID-19. It drives us to build better relationships and even shapes the decisions and priorities that move this community forward. 

As you will read in our summer issue of St. Benedict’s Prep magazine, we just sent 150 Gray Bee graduates into the world following the 2022 Commencement ceremonies in June. I’m deeply grateful to the faculty, staff and parents for all they did to deliver these young men and women to this point in their lives. The Class of 1972 was with us for Commencement in celebration of their 50th reunion, as well as Tom Kilkenny ’61, whose father, Thomas J. Kilkenny, graduated 100 years ago in the Class of 1922.

What an incredible gift! Fifty years ago, everyone thought the Class of 1972 would be the last class to graduate St. Benedict’s Prep. Yet here we are, more than 1,000 students strong as the 2022-2023 academic year began on July 25. I can’t emphasize how important it is for kids to witness the connectedness of Gray Bees stretching back the last century, with Tom Kilkenny representing his dad, to the present day. It tells our kids that they are part of something much bigger than themselves, their graduating class, or community they see every day on the Property. They belong to a place and mission that will go on forever.

Continuity was the objective of Forever Benedict’s, the largest fundraising campaign in our history, which we celebrated at the Annual Scholarship Gala in May. Together, we raised nearly $109 million, far exceeding our initial goal of $100 million, with contributions from 10,643 donors. The campaign doubled our endowment to $36 million and our alumni participation rate reached 37%, the sixth consecutive increase and a new record for giving. Together we’ve achieved a stronger financial footing and the ability to keep tuition affordable and provide financial assistance to 85% of Middle and Prep Division students.

None of these achievements would have been possible without you. We could not do this work or be of service to people from in and around Newark without the help of our alumni and teammates. Thank you for responding and for the love and loyalty you’ve shown us. Now, we get to start all over again with the new academic year. I hope you will continue to remember
St. Benedict’s Prep.

With gratitude,

Fr. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B. ’63

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