Presentation launches capital
and scholarship campaign
in honor of its 190th anniversary

Mayor Greg Fischer shook hands with Sister of Charity of Nazareth Betty Blandford during a press conference to announce Presentation Academy’s 190th-anniversary capital campaign Nov. 19. Laura Dills, the school’s president, looked on. (Photos Special to The Record)

To launch its 190th-anniversary, Presentation Academy announced a $190,000 capital and scholarship campaign during a press conference Nov. 18.

Presentation was founded in 1831 by Mother Catherine Spalding, who also founded the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

The school will celebrate its founding over the next six to eight months with different activities and a Mass in June, said Laura Dills, the school’s president.

Dills said part of the campaign funds will be used for school improvements, including adding more solar panels to the school’s Arts and Athletics Center, replacing windows and contracting masonry work on the old academic building, located at 861 S. Fourth St.

At the campaign’s launch, the school had received a $50,000 gift toward the capital campaign and a $25,000 gift toward the scholarship fund designated for minority students, said Dills.

“These gifts will galvanize other giving so we reach our goal,” she said, noting the campaign will wrap up around June.

Dills said the scholarship campaign is important because she wants all families to have an opportunity to send their daughter to Presentation “no matter their background.”

Becca Noonan, a 2000 graduate who serves as the school’s principal, agreed.

“We have a commitment to diversity. We’re proud of that. When you walk down the halls, the school looks like the community and it’s an incredibly formative experience,” said Noonan.

A 190-hour alumnae community service challenge was also announced during the press conference.

Dills said part of the 190th celebration will be inviting alumnae back to Presentation for various events, but most importantly, the school wants to re-energize its alumnae base to “do service in the name of Presentation,” said Dills, noting she’s looking forward to alumnae and current students serving together.

Presentation’s student body performs various types of community service, including clean up at Central Park where its tennis team plays, she said. The school also serves at nonprofits such as SOS International, which recovers and redistributes surplus medical supplies globally, and at La Casita Center, which serves Hispanic and Latino families. Students also serve at the Catholic Enrichment Center, which is an extension of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministry.

These are examples of the places alumnae might serve as they complete the challenge of 190 hours of service, noted Dills.

Noonan added that some of the services will take place in downtown Louisville, as well.

“We’re committed to being a part of downtown,” she said. “Mother Catherine (Spalding) asked us to build a community of diverse women helping each other but also helping the community.”

Noonan said she draws inspiration from Mother Catherine who faced many adversities in her lifetime, including the cholera epidemic of 1832.

“We will move past crises and pandemic and we will continue to be here and to educate young women into the future,” said Noonan.

During the press conference Nov. 18, Dills accepted an official proclamation from Mayor Greg Fischer commemorating the school’s 190th anniversary.

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