By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
A new scholarship program at St. Xavier High School aims to reach out to students of limited means.
The scholarship fund — Men of eXcellence — is open to young men from any faith tradition in the community who demonstrate “dire financial need,” school administrators said.
The initial gift, donated by an anonymous young alumnus, and a matching challenge will generate $300,000 annually for the Men of eXcellence Fund, Dr. Perry Sangalli, president of St. Xavier, said in an interview last week at the school.
“We want to extend a St. Xavier education — a Xaverian Brothers education — to families who would not normally think of us,” Sangalli, a 1976 graduate of the school, said. The fund “allows families of significant financial need, who normally wouldn’t look at a private school, this option.”
The program will ultimately fund 12 to 15 students per year. The funding is available immediately for students who have applied for tuition assistance from St. Xavier and plan to attend the school this fall.
Prospective students must still go through the normal channels of admission, including meeting academic admission standards and completing the tuition assistance process.
The fund will now allow school officials to extend additional aid, including full tuition, to families that demonstrate the need.
Sangalli said school administrators plan to reach out to organizations and schools, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, the West End School and Nativity Academy at St. Boniface, to let them know a Catholic education at St. Xavier is within reach.
“There are different kinds of diversity, not just ethnic or racial diversity. We want to include all types of diversity in our commitment as a learning community,” he noted.
The need-based scholarship fund was created, Sangalli said, as administrators reviewed strategic initiatives of the school and its mission.
Sangalli noted that the Xaverian Brothers came to Louisville more than 150 years ago to teach the large Irish and German immigrant populations in a time when such efforts and the Catholic Church in general were not in high favor.
The new scholarship program is a way to continue to live out the mission of the Xaverian Brothers, said Mike Littell, vice president for advancement of St. Xavier.
With the addition of this funding, St. Xavier will provide nearly $2 million in tuition assistance each year. Approximately 30 percent of the current student body receives some form of assistance. About 50 families currently qualify for full tuition assistance.
“We know we have a lot here at St. Xavier. If we use the old adage ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ — on a bad day here it’s still pretty good. We have an obligation to share what we’ve been given,” Sangalli said.
For more details on need-based tuition assistance, visit saintx.com/assist.