6/27/2011 – Warren,MI —De La Salle Collegiate High School has received a philanthropic gift of $5 million from Bill Fox, De La Salle Class of 1950. Brother Robert Carnaghi, FSC, De La Salle’s outgoing President, said the gift will complete the school’s most recent capital campaign, “Preserving the Legacy,” begun in 2004. The project included a new chapel, academic wing, science labs, music room, and extensive technological upgrades.
Br. Robert said, “Bill Fox’s gift is a testament to the fact that De La Salle makes a difference for young men and their families, and that the experience of a Lasallian Education is worth preserving.”
A portion of the gift, the largest in the school’s history, will establish the William M. Fox Endowed Scholarship Fund at De La Salle. The gift will also be used for improvements to the school’s gymnasium and parking facilities.
Fox said, “I hope this gift from the Fox Family will keep De La Salle going strong in its mission as ‘Builders ofBoys, Makers of Men’.” A consistent benefactor, Fox has actively supported the school’s goal of making a Lasallian education affordable for all students. He was the Honoree at the school’s 2005 Annual Christian Brothers’ Dinner.
Fox reflected on his education at De La Salle. “It seems just yesterday I was a student here, getting an education that was priceless. One of our teachers, Br. Brendan Patrick, used to say at least once aday: ‘Be a tree. And if you can’t be a tree, be a bush. And if you can’t be a bush, be a blade of grass. But be the best at whatever you do.’ The dynamic educators at De La Salle were able to take this poor kid from the East Side and make him a man.”
Bill Fox is one of the region’s most successful automotive dealers, with Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and Toyota dealerships in Rochester, and a Ford dealership in Battle Creek. “
This tremendous gift guarantees De La Salle’s ability to close the capital campaign in short order,” said Ben Aloia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “It also solidifies our ability to serve the Lasallian Mission by providing much needed financial assistance to our students from low-income families.”
The gift was presented at a special tribute to Brother Robert Carnaghi on June 26. At that time, the school’s Board of Trustees named Brother Robert “President Emeritus.” His accomplishments at the school since 2002 include the “Preserving the Legacy” Capital Campaign, planned expectancies of over $4 million, and a steady enrollment of over 800 students. In 2010, Br. Bob initiated the “Brothers’ Promise,” which ensures tuition will be paid for a student whose parent may experience a job loss.
A Christian Brother for over 60 years, Brother Robert will continue to be associated with the school, assisting students as a tutor and assisting the incoming President. Returning to his alma mater as President is Brother Thomas Lackey, De La Salle Class of 1965. Br. Tom has had a 50-year association with De La Salle, as not only a student, but also as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal.