I am delighted to present this fall’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018. As you will see in the pages that follow, Regis High School had a wonderful year on many different levels.
Without a doubt, one of the great successes of the year was the success that we had in our development efforts. We raised an astounding $9.9 million in the annual fund, nearly a 16% increase over the previous year’s record of $8.5 million. Total funds collected, including annual fund, the auction, some final collections from the Strong to Endure Campaign, and direct gifts to the endowment totaled $12,174,639.
Because the strength of our annual fund in recent years, we have been able to limit our spending from the endowment to just 4% (of the previous three-year average of the endowment), helping to ensure that we do not eat into the corpus, but work to grow it. Through the success of the Strong to Endure Campaign, market returns, and a prudent spending policy, our endowment has grown from approximately $72 million in 2014 to $93 million in 2018.
For those of us who love statistics, it is easy to get caught up in these numbers, but we must never forget what this allows us to do here on 84th Street. We provided one of the finest educations that money can buy—at no cost—to 535 talented Catholic young men from across the metropolitan area. As has happened since our founding, our students often come from immigrant families (e.g., 48% of freshmen families have at least one parent born outside of the United States, and 35% of freshmen families speak something other than English at home), and we provide the education and the community that literally changes their lives. Yes, Regis changes lives.
Our success is best reflected not in dollars raised, but in the lives that are changed, and the lives that are lived by our alumni. While this criterion is difficult to precisely measure, I know it when I see it. I see it everywhere I travel to meet with alumni; I see it in the proud faces of parents at graduation; I see it as alumni return to the school for reunions, and gather around the tables to retell their stories; I see it, yes, even at JUG Night! Yes, Regis changes lives.
Not all the news this fall has been good as we have seen scandals rock the Catholic Church once again. There have been days that it has been a challenge not to be ashamed to be a Catholic priest, and many people have said it has tested their faith. As you will see in in pages that follow, we have talked with students about these challenges, and at the same time we work to make sure our policies and procedures here at Regis both protect our students, and provide a safe and respectful environment for our entire community. I remain a person of hope that the Spirit will strengthen us through these trials.
Finally, a year ago I wrote about the start of our strategic planning process, and I now present you, in a separate document, the results of that work. This was our first ever comprehensive strategic plan, and I am very grateful to everyone who made the process and the product so successful. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts in the year ahead, and I look forward to sharing with you how we are beginning to implement the elements of the Strategic Plan.
Thank you for all you have done to have helped us have a successful year. With your support Regis will continue in our mission, and we will continue to change lives.
Be assured of my prayers for you and your family.
Daniel K. Lahart, SJ