Pictured from left are Heather Crisci, Camden Catholic principal; James Madden, honorary co-chair; Agnes Madden, honorary co-chair; Father Scott Pilarz, board chair; Mary Whipkey, president of the school; and Charles Grand, honorary co-chair.
Photo by Alan M.Dumoff
On March 10 Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, announced the public launch of "The Campaign for Camden Catholic: A Bold Vision for the Future," a three-tiered strategic effort to raise $6 million for South Jersey's oldest Catholic high school.
So far, $4.1 million has already been pledged toward the campaign. "We are embarking on this effort after careful research and consideration," said Jesuit Father Scott Pilarz, ‘77, president of the Camden Catholic Board of Trustees and co-chair of The Campaign. "We have been fortunate to have the support of alumni and friends of the school during the annual fund drive each year, but the time has come for all of us to step forward in a monumental way." The Pilarz family has pledged $250,000 towards the campaign. In addition to the Pilarz family gift, board member and campaign co-chair Robert DiStanislao, '78 has pledged $250,000 and John Pisa, ‘74 has pledged $250,000. The largest gift in school history, however, has been pledged by John Langan and Judith Nadell, who have committed to scholarship support in the amount of $1 million over five years. The Langan-Nadell Scholarship program began at CCHS in 2008 with the foundation's support of full-tuition for 15 gifted students from Camden. Mary Whipkey, president of Camden Catholic, along with campaign co-chairs Father Pilarz, DiStanislao, Jack Wixted, ‘72 and Linda Schilling, ‘70, and honorary co-chairs Agnes, '63 and Jim, '57 Madden and Charlie Grandi, ‘69, have been working toward the $6 million goal since 2012. During her time as Interim President, Whipkey has been traveling throughout the country, meeting with alumni and donors to brief them on the plans and to ask for their support. The campaign will focus on three main areas: - Physical improvements to the main school building and campus in Cherry Hill, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012-13; - Increased scholarship support to qualified students; and - Enhancement of academics and curriculum through faculty fellowships, college partnerships and improved technology. The first physical improvement project, renovation of the dining hall, will commence in the summer of 2014 with a goal of completion for the 2014-15 school year. Future projects will include the addition of an entrance foyer on the north side of the school, and a renovated façade, including new hardscaping and landscaping. The increased scholarship funding is allowing the school to provide financial support for current and incoming students. Funding has also been immediately invested in the enhancement of the school's academics and curriculum, evidenced in the launch of the Leadership Academy and the Msgr. Brennan Faculty Fellowship, as well as the continued growth of the International Program and Arts Academy. "The future is bright for the students of CCHS," said Heather Crisci, principal. "Thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, we will continue to attract engaging, well-rounded students who are proud and excited to become a part of the legacy that is Camden Catholic.