Supporting St. Anne Catholic School for Over 30 Years

In 2012, the St. Anne School Foundation celebrated its 30 years of providing support to St. Anne Catholic School.  Throughout the anniversary year, the Foundation recognized and thanked the seven founding trustees – the leaders and visionaries who helped make the Foundation a reality in 1982:

St. Anne Foundation Founding Trustees

William H. Edmundson, III (’50)
Leo Linbeck, Jr. (’48)
Ruth Metzger
Joan O’Leary (’46)
Father James Rent, C.S.B.
Fred Welling  (’38)
John B. Young

The Foundation’s Beginnings

The Foundation’s story begins in the eighties as St. Anne Catholic School began the decade reflecting on its wonderful 50-year history and looking ahead to the future of the school.  Principal Mary Hogan and the St. Anne School Board, chaired by Metzger and with Joyce Sullivan as treasurer, were instrumental in identifying the strategic goals of the school.  A key goal identified was increasing financial resources for faculty salaries, maintenance needs and capital improvements.

Building The Foundation

As president of the St. Anne Parish Council, Edmundson engaged the Council in the discussion of the goals for the school, including lessening the support needed from the parish budget.

The School Board asked Young to head up a Financial Planning Committee.  It was Young who first recommended to Fr. Rent the establishment of a foundation.

After many meetings and discussions, it was decided that a Foundation be established to raise, receive and manage gifts for planned as well as unanticipated expenses for the school.

The Foundation Officially Becomes a Non-profit

On May 12, 1982, the Foundation was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization.  After a personal visit by Fr. Rent, Edmundson, Young and others to Bishop John Morkovsky, who was Ordinary of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston at that time, the Bishop granted forgiveness on October 20, 1982 of the Cathedraticum Tax on monies raised by the Foundation.

The first fundraising campaign was initiated in December 1983.  The first donation to the campaign was made by Dorothy Roemer.  In 1984, Anne Rugeley was hired to organize the Foundation’s Development Office.  The first gala was conducted in Spring of 1985 at River Oaks Country Club.  Poppy Doyle was Gala Chair.

Throughout the years, the Foundation’s fundraising has focused on the specific needs of St. Anne Catholic School – its only grantee.

Throughout the years, those needs ran the gamut from basic maintenance needs such as painting to thoroughly updating classrooms, from expanding technology education to improving faculty salaries, and from funding of enrichment programs to endowing student and faculty scholarships.

A Catalyst for Strategic Initiatives

The Foundation’s initial momentum and strategic outlook for the school were credited as being a catalyst for other strategic activities in the St. Anne Parish, including the development of a master plan.

In the early years, there were grand plans – raise $3 million dollars – and then adjustments as $1 million became the reality.  Yet, the Foundation’s success was amazing.  In the initial two months of its first campaign, the Foundation raised more money than had ever been raised in the entire life of the school.

Those early years also found the Foundation taking on interim risks as emergency projects were approved and undertaken with the help of loans.  Yet, that commitment was critical so that the school could start the 1985-86 school year on time and with needed repairs completed.

As one early trustee noted:  “We plan for the optimum.  We deal with reality.  An organization’s ability to adjust is a sign of its vitality.  Its willingness to push on, through adversity, around roadblocks, has more to do with its eventual success than all the short-term objectives it meets.”

The early leaders of the Foundation began with a vision that was blended from many perspectives within the St. Anne Community.  Their collection of divergent ideas became a dream and a plan to fulfill that dream.  Trustees who subsequently joined the Foundation Board helped to solidify the plan and added their own strong resolve and quiet confidence on what could be accomplished.

A Generous Community, A Commitment to Quality

The results were an enhanced visibility of the school, a renewed commitment to quality Catholic education within the parish, and an overall recognition of the generosity of the St. Anne Community and beyond.

In its fundraising efforts, the Foundation reached out to St. Anne Catholic School alumni as well as to local, regional and national philanthropic foundations.  Parents and parishioners were tapped for in-kind support as well as volunteer time and professional expertise.  A community of supporters was gathered and cultivated – a community that continues to grow today.