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Students in graduation
What a Gift! Fifty years of leadership and defining principles with our Headmaster at the helm

What a Gift!

Many institutions talk about change. St. Benedict’s Prep is the rare example of a school doing the actual work of changing lives and communities for the better. The Hive’s progress and impact was never more evident than the Convocation held on November 14 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fr. Edwin D. Leahy, O.S.B. ’63, becoming Headmaster of St. Benedict’s.

Gray Bees filled the bleachers and floor of the HAB, a stark contrast to the 89 boys who inaugurated the first St. Benedict’s Convocation in 1973. Senior Group Leaders — from the late 1970s to the present day — showed up for their Headmaster and for the Benedict’s community. It was quite a moment. Their presence affirmed what we aim to instill in our students every day. Gray Bees belong to something much bigger than themselves. Gray Bees have a responsibility to make the community they inherit stronger for future generations. Gray Bees can be any good thing they want to be in life.

The fact that the kids ran Convo, as they always do, from start to finish was the greatest testament to Fr. Edwin’s tenure as Headmaster. All the adults present, including alumni and Trustees accustomed to calling the shots in their own workplaces, followed instructions from teenage student leaders. The Senior Leadership team told us when to quiet down and when to begin. They controlled the agenda, reminded us to participate in prayer and song, and informed us when we were dismissed. What a gift!

This Annual Report 2021–2022 commemorates 50 years of leadership and the defining principles — Community, Student Leadership, Counseling and Experiential Education — that turned an experiment in 1973 into a national model for how urban schools could better serve their communities. None of it would be possible without the support of the 3,206 donors honored in this magazine.

Together, we raised $12.9 million that underwrote everything from our 11-month academic year to financial aid for 85% of Middle and Prep division students. Our collective contributions funded additional space for our growing Elementary Division and introduced Summer Phase intensives, the Water Adversity Challenge (WAC) and WILD (Wilderness Inspired Leadership Development) expedition, that established three consecutive years of leadership training in the Prep divisions. We also closed Forever Benedict’s, the biggest fundraising campaign in our 155-year history, which surpassed its goal and raised $108 million.

Thank you for your faith in St. Benedict’s and belief in its mission of accompanying young people from in and around Newark through the most formative years of their lives. Looking forward, I can assure you of two things. The Board of Trustees will remain steadfast in our commitment to making Benedict’s the very best it can be. And as stewards of the Benedict’s mission, we will persist in asking for your continued support to keep The Hive thriving. Your participation is essential and deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Robert J. DiQuollo ’65
Chairman, Board of Trustees