Pawtucket — Saint Raphael Academy has announced the beginning of the public phase of its capital campaign, “The Next 100 Years: Building on Faith, Service and Community for the Next Century.” The completion of the capital campaign will coincide with the Academy’s centennial in 2024.
At the kickoff event on Sept. 24, the Academy revealed that the silent phase of this undertaking has nearly met its goal of $5 million, with donors committing to more than $4.66 million.
“I’m extremely excited by the response we received from our alumni, as we were trying to start the capital campaign during the challenges of a pandemic. I’m really proud of our alumni,” said principal Dan Richard.
One of those alums is Chuck Walker ’64, who is co-chair of the campaign.
“This campaign is happening at the right time to take this school to a new level, and it’s already at a high level,” he said.
Walker has been a longtime supporter of the Academy.
“St. Ray’s was the biggest stepping stone to where I am in life today,” said Walker, who founded Chemlink Laboratories, a research and development company in Georgia, so it was important for him to give back.
The Next 100 Years campaign will focus on three components: scholarships, infrastructure and the enhancement of an endowment to secure the financial future of Saint Raphael Academy. Ninety percent of the campaign funds will go toward scholarships and endowment, for scholarships today and into the future.
“Certainly, it is important because there is a great need for financial aid,” said Walker. About three-quarters of current Saints families receive financial aid, yet there are many other families who cannot afford to begin or continue their education at Saints. The campaign will ensure that the Academy continues to attract and enroll some of the area’s most promising students.
As the first STEAM-certified high school in Rhode Island, the Academy’s other focus of the campaign will be investments in infrastructure, with emphasis on STEAM-related projects such as improving the science labs, investing in the arts programs, and transforming the library into a 21st century learning space.
The Academy will be reaching out to alumni, friends, and supporters in the coming months. Walker is hopeful to see their strong support for the capital campaign.
“I would say, ‘Look in the mirror and ask, what did Saint Rays do for you?’” Mr. Walker said. “And if you feel it’s done for you what it’s done for me, I would be happy and grateful if you would support this campaign.”
To learn more about the capital campaign and make a donation, visit saintrays.org/the-next-century-capital-campaign.