Jesuit High School president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. celebrated a special Mass on Sunday (Aug. 28) with more than 360 members of the school’s President’s Circle at the annual President's Mass & Breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel.
The beautiful event featured Jesuit’s chamber orchestra and chorus, and six Jesuit priests concelebrated with Fr. Hermes. The morning also was highlighted by the State of the School address, as Fr. Hermes chronicled many of Jesuit’s sterling accomplishments during the 2015-16 school year in the areas of service, academics, athletics, spirituality, and alumni, accompanied by a slideshow.
In addition, there was a special announcement about Jesuit's “For Greater Glory” capital campaign. Two of the campaign’s most generous donors, Ted Couch ’54 and Richard Gonzmart ’71, demonstrated the magis – a Latin word meaning "more," or "better," and a key concept of Ignatian spirituality – by significantly increasing their donations.
Couch increased his gift from $2.5 million to $3.15 million – the largest ever made to Jesuit.
Three years ago, Gonzmart made the first alumnus donation of $1 million to the school, which launched the silent phase of the capital campaign. On Sunday, it was announced that he will donate an additional $1.5 million, for a total gift amount to Jesuit of $2.5 million.
Due to benefactors such as Couch, Gonzmart, and many others, Fr. Hermes indicated the “For Greater Glory” campaign goal – which was first announced a year ago at the President’s Dinner – has been raised from $35 million to $40 million.
This summer, construction began on Phase I of the Campus Master Plan supported by “For Greater Glory.” In 2017, Jesuit will complete Phase I, which includes a new chapel, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and a two-story, 32,000-square foot Administration and Student Services building. Subsequent phases will include a two-story, collegiate-style Student Activities Center; a Fine and Performing Arts Center with a 450-seat theater/auditorium; and a two-story, state-of-the-art Science and Math building.
“The generosity of our parents and alumni, such as Ted Couch and Richard Gonzmart, has been remarkable,” Fr. Hermes said. “It is ensuring future generations of young men in Tampa can achieve their academic, personal, and spiritual development at Jesuit.”
The President’s Circle is comprised of the top donors to the school during the previous school year, and this was the best-attended President's Mass & Breakfast.
Please see a photo gallery below from the President’s Mass & Breakfast.
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