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West Catholic: New Name and $1 Million Donation

West_New_LogoWest Catholic High School in Philadelphia, PA, has a few reasons to celebrate this summer. The school recently announced a name change, a new logo, and a significant donation. Effective July 1, 2013, the school is now known as West Catholic Preparatory High School, located in University City. It also has a new logo (pictured at left).

“Being a ‘Preparatory’ institution has many meanings to those we serve,” West President Brother Richard Kestler wrote in a letter to the school community. “For some it will mean preparation for college; for some it will mean preparation for service; for some it will mean preparation for leadership; but for all it will mean preparation for life and whatever may lie ahead.”

West_Strategic_PlanThe new name is part of a larger plan to reposition the school as one of the finest Catholic institutions in the area as it adapts to a changing educational landscape in the Philadelphia area.

The school also announced a donation of one million dollars to fund its new five-year strategic plan, A Commitment to Mission. This gift is the largest in the school’s 96-year history with the exception of capital campaigns.

The anonymous donors met with Bro. Richard after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced a recommendation in the winter of 2012 to close the school as part of a sweeping proposal to stabilize Catholic education in the archdiocese. A later decision reversal kept a few of the 48 schools on the list open, including West.

The donors then challenged school leaders to develop a five-year plan. In July 2012, Bro. Richard established a new Board of Trustees, which released the strategic plan in February 2013. With a plan in place, the donors released their gift and challenged all graduates and friends of West Catholic to become active participants in its revival.