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The House that Love Built

<img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-38957 lazyload" style="margin-right: 60px;" src="" alt="We Heart O'Dowd" width="300" height="300" srcset=" 300w, 150w, 768w, 1024w, 45w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The deadline is fast approaching for our Cor Unum Campaign for the O’Dowd Center, with the incredible matching grant from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation expiring on March 31. That’s why we brought our entire community together for the We 💛 O’Dowd Giving Challenge!

Launching on February 4, O’Dowd’s Founder’s Day, and ending on Valentine’s Day, the We 💛 O’Dowd Giving Challenge was a chance for students, parents, faculty and staff, former parents and alumni, grandparents, Board members and friends to join together and show just how much We 💛 O’Dowd.

We kicked off the challenge with We 💛 O’Dowd Trivia Night. Over 120 members of our community faced off to prove who knows O’Dowd best. It was students vs faculty vs alumni vs parents (and former parents). Hosted by history teacher Brian Cushing ’84, our team captains enjoyed some “gentle teasing” while the chat went wild with Dragon Pride.

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-38954 lazyload" src="" alt="Host and team captains" width="752" height="327" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 752px) 100vw, 752px" />

Faculty and students share smiles while they are in the lead. Parents and alumni are less happy looking at the scoreboard.

<img class="size-medium wp-image-38955 alignleft lazyload" style="margin-right: 60px;" src="" alt="Trivia Challenge Winners" width="300" height="300" srcset=" 300w, 150w, 768w, 1024w, 45w, 1500w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Math teacher Dennis Dougherty emerged as the overall winner, taking home the grand prize of on-the court seats at the first-ever O’Dowd Center basketball game. Trivia fact: Dennis is also the teacher who has been at O’Dowd the longest – 40 years!!

Our first place student winner was Andrew Dela Cruz. Our alumni winner was Tamarick Rabb. And our parent winner was Kimberly Walsh. They each showed us how much they 💛 O’Dowd and gave the launch of our Giving Challenge tremendous energy.

“I felt moved to give to the challenge during Trivia Night with Mr. Cushing,” said Tovah Skiles ’96. “There is a lifetime sense of community at O’Dowd, and I’m excited for how students will benefit from the new Center.”

Over the next ten days, our community kicked into full force. We received gifts of $5 and we received gifts of $12,000. Every single gift symbolized the 💛 our families have for O’Dowd.

“As I look back, I loved everything about O’Dowd,” remembers Andy Rogers ’85, one of over 170 alumni who gave during the We 💛 O’Dowd Challenge. He is excited that the new O’Dowd Center will support drama, music, sports and community gatherings. “They are each as important as academics,” he notes. “And I believe the friendships that students build will support them throughout life.”

<img class="wp-image-38958 alignright lazyload" style="margin-left: 60px;" src="" alt="Marsalis Roberson" width="281" height="422" srcset=" 683w, 200w, 768w, 1001w" sizes="(max-width: 281px) 100vw, 281px" />Many alumni and parents were extra motivated by the O’Dowd Center’s new modern gymnasium, with a full 94-foot competition court, tripled seating capacity, and a state-of-the-art athletic performance lab to support students-athletes at every stage of fitness.“I’m looking forward to coming to every O’Dowd basketball game for the rest of my life,” says Brenaia Roberson, mother of Marsalis Roberson ’21. Her twins are also Class of 2025 applicants. “Our players work hard,” she observes. “They give their best as athletes and scholars, and they deserve a best-in-class facility. I hope my twins will play at the new Center while our whole family watches, including their brother, a proud alum.”

<img class=" wp-image-38956 alignleft lazyload" style="margin-right: 60px;" src="" alt="Noelia" width="281" height="344" srcset=" 245w, 512w" sizes="(max-width: 281px) 100vw, 281px" />Other members of our community gave to support the performing arts. The O’Dowd Center will include a sophisticated music studio, with ensemble-sized practice spaces, instrument storage lockers, a sheet music library, and expansive high ceilings to improve the acoustics. It will also house an advanced drama studio with a versatile black box theater – space for dance, ensemble performance, rehearsal, and classroom instruction.

“I gave $25 to the We 💛 O’Dowd Giving Challenge because I’m a member of the orchestra and was able to build a close knit group of friends,” says Noelia KcKillip ’21, standing in front of the old band room. “The new building will be a space for more students to enjoy the arts and express themselves in different ways.”

We are unbelievably proud to say that between individual contributions, special alumni matches, and the amazing dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation, the We 💛 O’Dowd Giving Challenge saw over 240 donors help raise over $275,000 in support of the Cor Unum Campaign for the O’Dowd Center!

Thank you alumni, current parents, past parents, grandparents, faculty, coaches, staff, Board members, friends, and students! Together, our community is building a new house, grounded in love. The O’Dowd Center will sit at the heart of our campus, and sustain students, families, and alumni with Mass, rallies and celebrations, performances and sports, for generations to come.


It’s not too late to contribute. Our dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation expires next month, March 31. Join us now to show us how YOU 💛 O’Dowd!


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