St. Xavier aims to increase aid, enhance campus

An architectural rendering shows St. Xavier High School’s planned interactive learning center, which will face Poplar Level Road. (Rendering courtesy of St. Xavier High School and JRA Architects)

St. Xavier High School is 75 percent of the way to raising $51 million, the largest capital campaign in the school’s 155-year history.

Contributions will expand tuition assistance and build a new interactive center named in honor of the school’s late president, Dr. Perry Sangalli.

Gary Ulmer, chair of the “X Effect Campaign,” took it public last week during a press conference at the Marriott Louisville Downtown, announcing that the private phase has yielded $39 million in gifts and pledges.

Kevin Smith, chair of St. Xavier’s board, said in a press release, “This campaign supports our aspirations to ensure the St. X experience is accessible to all and to enhance our campus grounds.

“I am personally proud that we will also be able to honor Dr. Sangalli, who so positively impacted thousands of students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff,” he said.

Sangalli, who died May 5 after a brief illness, led St. X for 18 years — a period marked by growth. He led initiatives to increase support for need-based financial aid, as well as merit-based scholarships. He also oversaw expansion of the school’s academic and athletic facilities.

The “X Effect Campaign” aims to continue that legacy. The campaign is divided into three main areas — giving, financial aid and facilities.

Annual & planned giving

With a $32 million goal, the largest part of the campaign is an effort to increase annual support and planned giving, which would in turn fund scholarships and enhance other resources for the school.

In particular, the school hopes to increase participation in two giving programs  — the Saint Francis Xavier Society, composed of those who give at least $1,000 a year, and the Men of Excellence Fund, which provides need-based scholarships.

This goal also aims to “transform the school’s endowed scholarship program” with new bequests, the press release said.

Academic opportunity

$12 million is earmarked for four related areas. It will be used to:

– Expand the number of need-based scholarships

– Meet 100 percent of demonstrated student financial need;

– Support faculty excellence

– Find unique ways to attract a more diverse student population.

Learning center

The final prong of the plan funds a $7 million building project. It includes the renovation of the Callahan Media Center and the building of an interactive learning center to be named for Sangalli.

According to the press release, the new facility will provide a “unique academic facility where students and faculty can collaborate.” It will have open common areas with various workspaces.

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