Prep Receives an $800,000 challenge grant;
seeks “Broad support” to make this gift a reality

In the very best spirit of combining an extraordinary opportunity with a compelling incentive, one of Saint Peter’s Prep’s most notable alumni has offered a challenge grant of $800,000, contingent upon Prep raising that amount between now and June 30 through the Annual Fund and the Grand Gala.

Mr. Jerry Sheehan, ’48 made the offer during a recent conference call with Prep administrators. It followed a discussion about the need to ensure that the school has the necessary resources to provide tuition assistance to families affected by the current economic downturn linked to the coronavirus. 

 “Of course, I am concerned about our families in this economic climate now, as well as in the upcoming academic year,” remarked President Dr. Michael Gomez, ’91. “I want to make sure a temporary disruption in income does not prevent our students from continuing their Prep education.”

“Needless to say, this is an extraordinary outreach from Mr. Sheehan, who in the past has expressed hope that his generosity would inspire others to ‘step up’ in their support of Prep,” Dr. Gomez added. He noted that just this past week, the Sheehan Challenge was discussed during a special conference call with the school’s Board of Trustees, and our board members were the first to participate in this challenge by committing significant financial support. “But given this opportunity, as well as the difference it could make for our students, we need the broad support of the entire Prep family.”

The goal is for Prep to raise a total of $800,000 through the Annual Fund and the Grand Gala by June 30. Both of these funds provide significant income to the school’s operating budget in support of financial aid. In effect, all contributions between now and June 30 will be doubled thanks to the Sheehan Challenge grant. Upon meeting this goal, Prep would receive Mr. Sheehan’s match this summer, and it would be earmarked primarily to bolster the tuition assistance program through the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.

Jim Horan, ’70, Vice President for Planning & Principal Giving, noted that unlike Prep’s previous multi-year capital campaigns, the Sheehan Challenge seeks to encourage donors to support Prep through a “stretch gift” to this year’s Annual Fund and/or the Gala.

“The need to have our alumni and friends generously support the Annual Fund and the Gala—while always a priority each year—has never taken on more urgency,” Horan said. “Thus, we hope everyone who is able responds in full Prep spirit.”

The Gala has been rescheduled as a virtual event in late May, with details available at  As in the past, special attention is given to the event’s crucial Fund-a-Scholar component.

Double your impact! Your gift supports financial aid at Prep this year, and a match from Jerry Sheehan, ’48 supports financial aid at Prep next year! 


Please note that you can also make your gift by mail or stock transfer, and corporate matching gifts count toward meeting this challenge.

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