On May 11th, Brooklyn Jesuit Prep celebrated its Gala on a beautiful evening at the New York Athletic Club. This was the first gala since before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019, and it proved the most successful in the school’s history.
The tagline for the event, Building Futures. Changing Lives., celebrated BJP’s work and reinvigorated its mission. The program, emceed by Christian Johnson, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, took stock of BJP’s history of providing transformative education to students who could not otherwise afford it before laying out a bold new vision for the future. The school’s president, Rev. Mario Powell, S.J., publicly announced the launching of an $8 million campaign, Building Futures. Changing Lives. The Campaign for BJP., for which the school had already raised $6.5 million. This is the first campaign in the school’s history.
The proceeds from the evening benefitted BJP’s efforts to create a $500,000 endowment for its summer camp program at Fairfield University, a major goal of the campaign. “This is an investment for the future of BJP,” said Rev. Powell in his remarks. “This is an investment in the partnership that we have with Fairfield University. Only in the Jesuit world can you have a small middle school over the course of almost two decades be welcomed with open arms as we have by the Fairfield University and Prep community.”
BJP’s beloved camp is not only a fun escape from New York, it offers a broad range of activities from academic enrichment to nature excursions to its leadership skills-building curriculum.
“Camp for us is more than just an excursion. It’s an opportunity to let our students dream-and Fairfield leaves an indelible mark on our students. And I assure you, these dreams are as big as Brooklyn. And we are lucky to have a small role to play in their lives,” Rev. Powell said.
The school fittingly presented the inaugural Sr. Thea Bowman Award for Education to Dr. Mark R. Nemec, PhD, the President of Fairfield University, for his work increasing educational access for students from backgrounds similar to those of BJP’s students.
The event was a smashing success! Overall, BJP raised $560,000, including over $250,000 during the event itself. This amount far and away exceeds BJP’s previous fundraising galas. This total also brings BJP’s total fundraising for Building Futures. Changing Lives. over $7 million, an incredible start for its inaugural campaign. From here, the school plans to solidify its other campaign goals and engage its donors and students in events throughout the summer. We are grateful to everyone who donated and attended, and to everyone who helped make this wonderful, historic evening possible!