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Saint Mark’s receives $1M donation from alumna

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Saint Mark’s High School announced Paul and Linda McConnell have committed $1 million to the school’s Renewing the Vision Capital Campaign.

The McConnell’s gift will fully fund a new robotics lab/makerspace, as well as a multipurpose media and broadcast studio. Construction for both areas is slated to begin in the coming months and will be completed for the 2023-24 school year. Their donation will also support a tuition assistance program for local students with financial needs.

“Linda and I recognize and appreciate the lengths to which Saint Mark’s has embraced change and innovation, which has clearly resulted in increased enrollment and higher visibility within the community,” Mr. McConnell said. “We are pleased to invest in their plan of action to continue to serve young people in both traditional and in new and dynamic ways.”

The McConnell donation is the latest in a long list of generous contributions to the Saint Mark’s Capital Campaign. Alumni giving has more than doubled in the past three years. The school received a $2 million donation earlier this year from Chairman of the Board Steve Hyde and his wife Lisa McManus Hyde.

“Our community is blessed to receive this investment from Paul and Linda. Their generosity will directly affect the lives of current and future Spartans,” Mr. Hyde said.

Principal Diane Casey emphasized that the McConnell donation will have an important and immediate impact on the school curriculum. “The addition of the robotics lab/makerspace will enhance and expand our curriculum and extracurricular activities related to engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, computer programming and more. The space will be designed to inspire students to think critically and to work collaboratively,” she said.

“The media and broadcast studio will give us the opportunity to offer our students a space to test the boundaries of their creativity,” she continued. “Students will be able to immerse themselves into the fields of broadcast journalism and video production using state-of-the-art equipment to produce highly innovative news broadcasts, podcasts, presentations and more.”

School President Tom Fertal remarked, “The McConnell’s gift will fast-track these two highly innovative initiatives while also providing needed financial assistance during the current and future admissions season. I hope that their generosity inspires others to rise up as we move closer to achieving our campaign goals.”

The Renewing the Vision Capital Campaign was launched September 2022 with a goal of $8 million. As of December 2022, almost $6 million has already been collected. It is the largest capital campaign in the school’s 53-year history and will focus on improvements to six key areas, including innovation & technology, fine & performing arts, campus ministry & student life, athletics & student fitness, endowment and the Fund for Saint Mark’s.


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