Mr. & Mrs. Hunt, through the Loretto Foundation, were instrumental in enabling the school to break ground on the first phase of AQUINAS 2020 in September 2016 with an initial $1 million pledge. Last Friday, before the Saints varsity football game vs. archrival Bishop Miege, the school celebrated completion of the project’s Phase ONE facilities while publicly launching Phase TWO fundraising.
Lamar Hunt, who often cites Saint Thomas Aquinas High School as a continued positive influence in the lives of his five Saints-alumni children, joked with the pregame crowd about the multi-year project, “I’m a little bit impatient. Let’s get this thing done!” Mr. Hunt pointed out that the essence of a challenge-grant is to encourage everyone in the community to make a difference, saying, “No gift is too small.”
Through the grant, the Hunts challenge the Saint Thomas Aquinas community to collectively raise an additional $500,000 for AQUINAS 2020 by December 31, 2017. “We want our children to be smart and successful, and also wise and good,” Lamar Hunt said, in reference to the sound education and strong faith development available at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School.
Bill White, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees, thanked the Hunts for their generous and sincere support. “Rita and Lamar Hunt truly make a difference in so many different ways in Kansas City. We are honored with their continued involvement as Saints, and thank them for their heartfelt presence and participation.”
Phase TWO improvements will include conversion of the school’s 30-year old Library to a 21st-century collaborative Learning Commons, and also complete renovation of the original Physical Education wing, including locker rooms, training facilities, offices and storage.
“Whether their children or grandchildren are or will attend Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Saints everywhere are being asked to participate in the campaign that will make a difference for future students and families,” said White, parent of four Saints graduates and grandparent of (so far) Saints’ alumni classes of 2033 and 2035. “So many generous people over the years have helped make Saint Thomas Aquinas what it is today. (My wife) Ellen and I stay involved so that we can pay it forward to our next generations.”
Saint Thomas Aquinas High School is a four-year Catholic, co-educational Archdiocesan school located at 114th & Pflumm in Overland Park, Kansas. The school currently enrolls 951 students and boasts 7,025 alumni since opening in 1988.