On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Chaminade Julienne announced the successful completion of LIFT — Leading In Faith Today, the school's $20 million effort to elevate the learning experience for its students.
$20 million was an ambitious goal but one that suited the Chaminade Julienne administration and Board of Trustees just fine.
In 2011, Chaminade Julienne quietly launched a campaign initiative later called LIFT – Leading in Faith Today – with a goal of $20 million to support school operations, strengthen the school’s endowment, improve the campus and the learning and teaching environment, and develop student programming.
Trustee and graduate Antonette Lucente clearly remembers attending the Board meeting where the ambitious campaign was approved. "Although, we knew the CJ community was steadfast and supportive of past endeavors, we had never undertaken a campaign of this magnitude,” Lucente said.
“We knew that our goals for LIFT were ambitious, but we believed the CJ community was ready to make significant investments in the Catholic educational experience at Chaminade Julienne,” said President and CEO Dan Meixner.
Meixner was right. The campaign – announced publicly in 2014 – has exceeded expectations and monetary goals and raised $21.2 million. Members of the community were so inspired by the progress being made possible because of LIFT, they contributed gifts amounting to $7.5 million beyond the priorities outlined in LIFT. One such project is Roger Glass Stadium, Home of the CJ Eagles, opened in August 2016.
“Together, we dreamed big and have made history,” Meixner told benefactors at the celebratory dinner on Wednesday. “We have celebrated along the way, as each new initiative or project came to fruition, but now we celebrate the conclusion of this journey of faith and hope.”
“As we moved through the phases of the campaign, we began to understand how deeply committed our CJ community really was. At every turn, we conveyed our message and the community responded,” Lucente said. “We heard stories of the strong impact CJ had on past graduates and families of our alumni.”
The results of LIFT are visible and impactful including renovated classrooms, hallways, gym and cafeteria as well as additions like the CJ STEMM Center and Eagle Tennis Center. The campaign has also funded strategic programs and grown the endowment and annual fund, enabling more students to experience all that CJ has to offer.
CJ’s impact on the Dayton community has not gone unnoticed as Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley visited school Wednesday to announce that September 14, 2016 was officially declared Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School Day in Dayton.
Honorary LIFT Co-Chairs Brother Ray Fitz SM, Fr. Ferree Professor of Social Justice, University of Dayton and Sister Carol Lichtenburg, SNDdeN, Provincial Leader of the Ohio Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, share the success of LIFT.
“LIFT has greatly advanced Chaminade Julienne’s capacity to provide an education that will prepare young people to make a difference with their lives,” said Brother Ray Fitz SM, Fr. Ferree Professor of Social Justice, University of Dayton. “This campaign has provided resources to enhance the excellence of the curriculum, to transform our educational facilities, and most importantly to provide families and students access to a CJ education.”
“LIFT proves that there are so many people in the area and around the country who believe in the mission of Chaminade Julienne,” Sister Carol Lichtenburg, SNDdeN, Provincial Leader of the Ohio Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. “The heart of the educational experience is intangible, but it certainly is enhanced by updated classrooms and facilities. The generosity of innumerable supporters has made it possible to bring an already outstanding school to a new level of excellence.”
Chaminade Julienne LIFT Capital Improvements Completed to Date
* Eagle Tennis Center (2011)
* CJ STEMM Center (2013)
* Mary, Our Lady of Victory gym (2013)
* Building One Classrooms (2015)
* Cafeteria (2015)
* Performing Arts Rehearsal Space (2015)
* Auditorium (2016)
In addition, and inspired by LIFT
* Roger Glass Stadium - Home of the Chaminade Julienne Eagles