Blog Master G

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$3 Million Locker Room

Wednesday, November 26th, 2003 · 4 Comments

Few things get me fired up enough to write a letter. Tonight I did just that to the president of my high school alma mater:

    (Address Withheld)

    Rev. (Name Withheld), S.J.
    Jesuit High School
    P.O. Box 254647
    Sacramento, CA 95865-4647

    November 26, 2003

    Dear Father (Name Withheld),

    Today I received your “Building for the Future” mailer outlining the plans for Jesuit’s new capital campaign. For the most part, I think this is a fine and worthy endeavor, but one fact about the details really disgusts me: That the single largest line item in the plan is nearly $3 million for “Locker Room Renovation & Remodeling.”

    Somehow I’m not surprised; I know what a big part sports play at Jesuit. But it’s disturbing that this amount is larger than the $2 million goal for endowments, the scholarship portion of which I believe should be the most important aspect of fundraising for any private educational institution.

    If Jesuit truly wants to live up to its mission as it “seeks, educates, and nurtures young men from a wide variety of ethnic (and) socio-economic…backgrounds,” then it should get its priorities straight and focus more on creating scholarship funds for students not from wealthy families than on providing a $3 million locker room for its jocks.

    Does the “development of the whole person” really occur on the sports team? Or does it occur in the classroom, hopefully filled with students of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses who adequately reflect what the world is really like?

    I, for one, credit the academic side of my Jesuit education for having been prepared for college and my life to follow—and not that I happened to earn a varsity letter.


    Jesuit 1995
    Vassar 1999

Tags: rants

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dave Reed // Nov 26, 2003 at 5:33 pm

    Ouch! I knew I should have read that thing. It kind of got tossed aside with indifference.

    I guess I’ll have to read that and, possibly, write my own letter.

  • 2 Jordan // Nov 27, 2003 at 10:24 am

    I credit my varsity letter for having prepared me for college and my life to follow. The letter still gives me good advice today, doesn’t yours?

  • 3 beerzie boy // Dec 1, 2003 at 8:56 am

    My wife would like my boys to go to your alma mater, but the cost will probably break our backs. It’s good to know that they will panhandle after graduation, though.

  • 4 Silus Grok // Dec 2, 2003 at 9:44 am

    Hey Gabe.

    I happened to have lettered in debate, and was generally loathe to spend any time at all with the footballers… but I have this to say about sports and academics : everyone has a different reason for attending school, and precious few of them comprehend (much less appreciate) the value of their education beyond the simplest of terms. Some attend for the socializing, some for the sense of accomplishment that comes with good grades, some for a beloved subject, some out of obligation, and some for sports.

    Aside from a correct understanding of the value of an education, these other reasons all stand on pretty equal ground in my book, as it gets them to school… hopefully engaged teachers and supportive staff will get them the rest of the way.

    An enlightened sporting program that focuses on participation, character, and skills building (over winning), can go a long way to shaping young minds and instilling qualities that will serve the players well in their later lives… and as humbling as it may be to say it, my peers who lettered in sports and then went on to successfully complete college are (in my estimation) some of the most sought-after members of the workforce, as they often have the leadership and team building skills needed in the modern workplace.

    As for the line-item : construction is expensive, and a locker room serves more than the meathead crowd. Moreover, having a tangible project on the list is an effective way of helping people to imagine how their donations will be used — which often translates into better returns… and is a tried-and-true fundraising tactic.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.