By Jennifer Mauro | Managing Editor

More than 75,000 fundraising letters were mailed out to alumni the week of Nov. 12 in an ongoing effort to engage former students in the future of the Diocese’s Catholic schools.

“Research has told us that alumni want to be asked to be involved in their school. They have a memory, a principal, a teacher, a sister, a program – an affinity – to their school,” said Stephen Nicholl, director of the diocesan Department of Development, which oversees the Catholic Alumni Partnership program.

To that end, alumni received letters penned by school principals inviting the graduates to learn more about their alma mater’s needs, new programs and technologies, growth and successes, and possible volunteer opportunities.

All funds raised through CAP go directly to the school designated for an annual fund or tuition assistance. In instances where an alumni’s school has closed, donations will go to meet the needs of Catholic schools in the Diocese upon request.

“The value of a Catholic school education lasts a lifetime,” said JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Rooted in faith, moral values are part of life’s compass. Goal-setting, persistence and continuous improvement are intrinsic to the unfolding leadership and competencies that define Catholic school students. Integrity, service and giving of self are hallmarks of Catholic school students.”

Nicholl said CAP donations have steadily increased over the years since the program first came to the Diocese about seven years ago, with nearly $100,000 being raised last year. One benefit of CAP being offered by the Diocese, he said, is that it helps schools that may not have a strong development or fundraising campaign collect, organize and distribute the needed information.

Another benefit of CAP is that it cultivates relationships – inviting graduates back to the schools for tours and encouraging alumni involvement.

“I’ve spoken to CEOs of companies who have said, ‘The employees that I have who graduated from Catholic schools are among the most valuable – they’re the leaders in my organization,’” Nicholl said. “So what you’ve gotten out of your Catholic schools, for the most part – the values, education – is more than you’ll ever need. It’s so valuable in our society, and I hope they never lose sight of that.”

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