The Class of 1969 set new heights for class endowment fundraising efforts in honor of its 50th reunion. It is the first class to raise $50,000 for its class endowment fund. The goal was to accomplish that by May 22, the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Providence graduation, and the class met its goal.
Tom Raidy ’69, Jerry Wayne ’69, and Dottie (Galligan) Zipp ’69 were instrumental in leading the charge to meet the $50,000 goal. They are pleased that their classmates rose to the challenge and believe it is a testament to the cohesiveness and specialness of their class.
“I feel very happy and proud to be a member of the Class of 1969,” Raidy said. “It is full of great people and we had an amazing class president and lifelong friend to all of us, (the late) Mike Naville (’69). We have had great turnouts to the reunions over the years, and the classmates seem to have remained good friends regardless of time and or distance.”
Naville continued to lead the class long after graduation, and his classmates followed his example of his support for Providence. And they continue to do so after his passing.
“Mike was a kind and generous man, and I think it spread throughout the class, so, I’m not surprised we made the goal,” Raidy said. “I believe Mike is looking down with a huge smile. Reaching the $50,000 goal and being the top donating class during our 50th anniversary year shows the rest of our fellow alumni what we already knew – the Class of ‘69 is a great class made up of very good and very generous people.”
The class has several other leaders as well. Raidy credits Diane Lander-Simon ’69 with sparking the initial class endowment fundraising efforts at the class’s 40th reunion. Lander-Simon told her classmates that their endowment was below $5,000 and encouraged them to donate. They responded, and within a decade, donated more than $40,000 to reach the milestone amount today.
Wayne agrees with Raidy that their classmates’ generosity is a testament to the special quality of the class.
“The class of 1969 was always special,” Wayne said. “We heard it from teachers long after we graduated. Being the first class to hit $50,000 is another example of the uniqueness of this remarkable group of fine individuals. Mike Naville … led by example, and a lot of us give him credit for holding us together, and he would be so proud of this benchmark we’ve achieved.”
Zipp said she is pleased to see her classmates continue to support the school she loves so dearly. Her love for Catholic education began with her parents, who valued it highly, sent her and her siblings to the old St. Augustine School in Jeffersonville and to Providence. She would have attended Bellarmine except it didn’t offer her major, physical education and health. So she attended the University of Louisville and was hired to teach P.E. after earning her degree. Her goal was to “build sports programs for girls from scratch” to give them more opportunities than what she had, “to be a cheerleader or a tennis player,” she said.
“I worked to get basketball, volleyball, and softball teams started,” she said. “Fast forward to now, and I want anyone who wants to attend Providence to be able to. My parents worked hard and sacrificed to put six kids through Catholic school, and I hope everyone in the Class of 1969 appreciates the sacrifices their parents made for them and will contribute.
“I am so happy our class has met its goal because as a teacher at Providence, I personally taught many children of my classmates and I got to see the success of future leaders of our community. We need to keep Providence thriving in our community.”
Twenty percent of the Class of 1969 made contributions to help the class get to $50,000, and Wayne, Raidy, and Zipp want that number to grow to 50 percent participation in honor of their 50th reunion – and to meet their next goal.
“Now that we’ve hit $50,000, I say let’s get to $69,000, and let’s do it quickly,” Wayne said.
While Providence has made great strides in building the school’s overall endowment fund, it stands below the objective of reaching $3 million set forth in the Endowing the Future campaign. Endowment funds are still invested for growth in the short term, but in the long term, the plan is to use them to address the ever-present need for financial assistance and fortification of teacher salaries. If your class is not “on the board” in class endowment efforts, it not too late to get started. You can benefit from a challenge gift that will match the first $500 raised and also contribute an additional $500 if the total has reached $4,500.
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