“Momentum - Moving Catholic Education Forward”
The Campaign for the Walla Walla Catholic Schools
The Walla Walla Catholic Schools take pride in educating the future Christian leadership in our community and the future members and leaders of the Catholic Faith. Today over 300 young people are enrolled in preschool through high school at Assumption Pre-School and Child Care, Assumption Elementary and Middle School and DeSales High School. One priest and thirty-seven lay teachers and administrators teach and provide guidance for a Catholic education for today's students. Although the enrollment is largely Catholic, the Walla Walla Catholic Schools doors have always been open to students of all creeds who seek to benefit from the mission of the schools.
Like virtually all educational institutions, Walla Walla Catholic Schools have been confronted with challenges and adversity, but we have not lost sight of our mission or compromised our high standards.
Catholic education today in Walla Walla deserves no less a sense of commitment now than was made by the previous generations over the past 146 years. From time to time in the past, usually at five year intervals, it has been necessary to undertake a capital campaign to assist the schools.
Now, nine years after the last campaign, that time has come again. Because tuition, support from the local parishes, endowment and annual gifts from alumni, parents and friends barely cover operating costs, Walla Walla Catholic Schools’ leaders have recognized the need for a five year capital campaign and are currently conducting that effort. In recognition of our Schools’ continuity of service and commitment to the future, the Campaign seeks to raise, over the next five years, gifts and pledges totaling a minimum of $2,000,000. These funds will:
- Provide necessary capital improvements that will assure excellence in the Schools.
- Help to maintain reasonable tuition rates.
- Increase endowment, or reserves, to accommodate future scholarship and operational needs.
This Capital Campaign is intended to ensure the ability of the Walla Walla Catholic Schools to serve today’s young people as well as future generations. Just as we live the vision of previous generations of Walla Walla Catholics, we now are called to support the vision for those who will come after us. The time has come when the Walla Walla Catholic Schools must ask all Catholics, alumni, parents and friends, businesses and foundations for their special gifts to support this plan. The future success of our Catholic Schools will be determined by the success of this campaign.
In order to sustain the financial stability of the Catholic Schools, as well as maintain an excellent education, a number of areas currently need attention and financial support. These include:
Capital Improvements: $600,000
For fifty years, the gymnasium at DeSales has served the school and the community well. Today, there are safety concerns with parts of the building, and the floor, bleachers and lights are all in need of replacement. In addition, the DeSales High School building needs painting.
“Irish Go Green”
Many of the systems in the DeSales High School building, dating from the construction in the late 1950’s, are inefficient and in need of updating and replacement. The lights, electrical and heating systems are old and energy inefficient and the bathrooms are in need of water saving technology.
Computer Technology: $155,000
No school today can be academically competitive without use of, and instruction in computer technology. Currently, there are few computers available to the students at Assumption Elementary School, but the need far exceeds current resources. A mobile computer lab, to be shared by all grade levels, is essential to the education of our elementary and middle school students. The computers at Desales were updated in 2012 with 20 new PC laptops and 10 MacBook Air laptops.
Financial Aid/Endowment: $600,000
The cost of tuition for a Catholic education is significant. Although the Walla Walla Catholic Schools do everything possible to keep costs down, numerous families need financial assistance to meet tuition. Additional funds are needed to provide this assistance.
Annual Fund: $400,000
“Momentum” is a five year, comprehensive campaign that includes the Annual Fund, a part of the School’s operating budget, in its totals. Consequently, annual fund revenue will have to rise as a part of the campaign.
Academic Upgrades: $140,000
Regular updates of lab equipment, teaching materials and text books are vital. In particular, lab upgrades, calculators and safety equipment are essential to the programs in mathematics and the sciences. The economic downturn postponed crucial textbook purchases. We are also continually working to expand our Fine Arts offerings.
Admissions & Public Relations Office: $60,000
Many families today are virtually unaware of the opportunities and benefits that a Catholic education provides. With the addition of an admissions and public relations office, more Catholics and members of the wider community will become informed of the education provided by Assumption and DeSales, which will lead to increased enrollment.
Campaign Costs: $45,000
The costs of conducting this campaign are included in the total for the fundraising drive.