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GRADUATION:
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Tribute to the
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placeholder June 8, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA

Saint Mary's Lasallian Student Leaders present school President Brother Edmond Larouche, FSC, a check for the initial proceeds from the 2014-2015 Student Fundraiser, Dec. 8, 2014. Ultimately, nearly $87,000 was raised.
Courtesy photo

Students raise $87,000 for tuition aid

Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley completes its 152nd school year this June, proudly graduating the Class of 2015 on June 7, and honoring the Class of 1965 at commencement.

The graduating seniors leave an outstanding legacy of service, from the Bay Area to Haiti to Montana and El Salvador and points in between. Closer to home, the annual Student Fundraiser for tuition assistance provides an opportunity for Saint Mary's students to live out one of the school's core values: caring for one another.

"Service of the Poor," a hallmark of the De La Salle Christian Brothers' educational mission for nearly three and a half centuries, is second nature to Saint Mary's students and an integral part of their consciousness and their daily lives.

This year alone, 44 percent of Saint Mary's families received more than $2 million in tuition assistance, possible through the generosity of alumni, families, friends, foundations and the annual gift to the school from the student body.

Preceded by walk-a-thons and raffles, the students' most successful fundraiser has been the simple, direct ask. Encouraged by teachers, parents and student leaders — and a few homeroom competitions — students use an email ask-to-donation web program, with followup thank you notes sent to individual donors.

Enthusiasm for the project, with ever-greater understanding of its impact, has grown remarkably over the past dozen years, especially the past few. The 2012 event raised $56,000, while the school's 150th anniversary year collection in 2013 reflected the 1863 year of Saint Mary's founding, with $63,000 gifted to the school. Students raised an amazing $87,000 in fall 2014, with more than $79,000 going to tuition assistance and $7,000 supporting student clubs and organizations.

Since moving to Berkeley in 1927, the Saint Mary's campus has changed greatly. Older alumni recognize little from their high school days. Yet the school today would not be what it is without those same alumni and others who continue to invest in Saint Mary's and in Lasallian Catholic Education. Just as those donors see the promise of a Saint Mary's education for the young men and women at the school today, the Student Fundraiser offers students an important means to participate in that promise for those with whom they share classrooms each day.

 
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