Over the course of two amazing decades, Gaudiosa has celebrated many phenomenal moments. The 20th annual Gaudiosa gala on Saturday (February 25) once again featured extraordinary generosity from hundreds of Jesuit supporters, as well as a very special announcement:
Lauren and Chris Schellman have made a transformative capital gift of $5 million to Jesuit - the largest in the history of the school!
Below is the press release announcing the $5 million gift. Thank you to the Schellmans for their tremendous generosity, and to all who support Gaudiosa and Jesuit's financial aid program. Click here for much more news about Gaudiosa, including the final amount raised and hundreds of photos!
Jesuit High School announces $5 million gift
from Lauren and Chris Schellman during the
20th Gaudiosa gala, ‘An Evening in Barcelona’
Tampa, Fla. – Feb. 25, 2023 – Jesuit High School’s 20th annual award-winning fundraising spectacular, Gaudiosa: An Evening in Barcelona, was a major success Saturday night at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
This extraordinary event culminated with a special announcement from school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J.: Lauren and Chris Schellman, who have a long history of generosity to Jesuit and other institutions, have made a record-setting $5 million gift to Jesuit High School. This is the largest single donation in school history. Jesuit will use this gift to advance its Campus Master Plan, which includes the construction of a state-of-the-art Student Activities Center that will be named in honor of the Schellman family.
“Lauren and I made this gift in gratitude for the special role that Jesuit plays in the lives of so many of our family members and friends,” said Chris Schellman. “Under the inspirational leadership of Fr. Hermes, Jesuit continues to be one of the most important institutions in our community.”
Chris Schellman is the retired founder and CEO of Schellman & Company, LLC, a top 100 CPA firm that specializes in IT audit and cybersecurity. The Schellmans have three sons who will graduate from Jesuit: Michael Schellman ’20, Maximilian Schellman ’24, and Alexander Schellman, who was recently accepted into Jesuit’s Class of 2027. The Schellmans also have a daughter, Isabella Schellman, who graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names in 2020.
Lauren Schellman is the oldest daughter of Melanie and Richard Gonzmart ’71. In 2013, Gonzmart made the first ever $1 million donation to the school from an alumnus, and he later increased the gift to $2.5 million. In 2018, Jesuit named its new 32,000-square foot Administration and Student Center in honor of the Gonzmart family.
“Jesuit High School is extremely grateful to the Schellman family for their extraordinary leadership and generosity,” said Nick Suszynski ’98, Jesuit’s Development Director. “This historic investment will make a lasting impact in the lives of Jesuit students for generations and allows us to confidently move forward with developing the next phase of our campus transformation.”
As it does every year, Gaudiosa featured a gorgeous, St. Ignatius-inspired setting, more than 600 guests, and fabulous auction items. All Gaudiosa proceeds go toward Jesuit’s financial aid program. Last year, for the first time – and in large part due to the generosity of the Schellmans – Gaudiosa raised more than $1 million.
In previous years, Fr. Hermes has announced similar transformational capital gifts at Gaudiosa, such as a $3 million donation from the Capitano family – Joe Capitano Sr. ’56, Joe Capitano Jr. ’84, and Frank Capitano ’87 – and $2.5 million from Richard “Steve” Jenkins ’75.