More than 100 supporters of Bishop O’Dowd High School gathered for a reception held at the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) on October 6 to celebrate the school’s impressive accomplishments made possibly by philanthropy. More than $3 million was raised during the 2015-16 school year, with more than 2,200 alumni, current and past parents, faculty and staff, grandparents, organizations and friends of the school contributing.
President Steve Phelps welcomed the group, thanked them for their generosity, and talked about several campus improvements completed over the summer, including the complete remodeling of a 65-year-old chemistry lab into a state-of-the-art science lab and classroom, the widening of the main road onto campus, the construction of a handicap-accessible entrance to Dominican Hall, and the expansion of the parking area behind Cummins Center.
He also talked about the plans in the works to purchase the nearby Seneca Reservoir property (O’Dowd currently has an approved purchase option for the property), which would double the size of the campus and enable the school to begin development on future campus planning.
Principal JD Childs said he was incredibly impressed with the community’s generosity. “Your investment supports actual programs, but it also furthers our mission, helps us enact our values, and helps us in the crucial work of formation with our young people,” he said.
More importantly, Childs said he was struck by the way in which parents, in particular, invest so generously in the mission of the school.
“You operate out of abundance,” he said. “O’Dowd parents perform service, attend events, celebrate teachers, support one another in parenting – encouraging students other than their own, and model the kind of generosity that we all want our children to embody in their lives beyond O’Dowd.”