The opening of Gonzmart Hall and the Chapel of the Holy Cross in 2018 has transformed Jesuit High School.
As has the space between them.
On Tuesday (Nov. 20) during a special morning ceremony, the stately Oliva Family Courtyard was blessed and dedicated by Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J.
It is named in honor of John Oliva ’60. Oliva spoke to the student body at Convocation on Tuesday morning, and then convened outside the chapel with his family for the ceremony (Oliva is pictured with his wife, Lydia, and Fr. Hermes on the homepage. A photo slideshow and video are below).
The beautiful courtyard connects Holy Cross Chapel with Gonzmart Hall, the school’s new administration and student center. All were completed this year as part of Phase I of the school’s Campus Master Plan, and were made possible by Jesuit’s $50 million ‘For Greater Glory’ capital campaign, which closed in August. Oliva donated $1 million to the campaign.
Among the features of Oliva Courtyard are the cobblestones at the center, encircling the fountain, that have the names of deceased Jesuit alumni. Each year the newly engraved cobblestones are blessed and dedicated at the Alumni Memorial Mass. (click here for photos from the Alumni Memorial Mass in early November.)
Since graduating in 1960, John E. Oliva Sr. has been an advocate of Jesuit High School, donating his time, talent, and treasure to supporting his alma mater and the Jesuit High School Alumni Association. The roots of a family-tree representing three generations of Jesuit Tigers – his son, Mark Oliva, is a 1984 graduate, and Oliva has three grandsons who also are Tigers, including current student Chase Oliva ’20 – Oliva also is a graduate of and former football player for the University of Florida.
Through the years, Oliva has served Jesuit in many capacities, including as a member of the school's Foundation, Alumni Council, and President’s Steering Committee. He was a member of the President’s Cabinet in support of the ‘For Greater Glory’ campaign, and also is a member of Jesuit’s 1899 Bequest Society and the Jesuit Hall of Fame. Oliva is recognized as one of the world’s foremost tobacco farmers, but his true calling is his passion for helping others. He is an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and is a loyal supporter of Catholic education, including the Academy of the Holy Names, Christ the King, Incarnation Catholic School, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph’s, St. Lawrence, and Villa Madonna School.
Please see a photo slideshow below, and video of the dedication ceremony below that.