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Providence College Announces $100,000 Gift to Diocesan Catholic Schools

The College’s gift will be paired with a service component which will coordinate PC student, faculty and staff volunteer efforts at five Catholic elementary schools in Providence.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, FEBRUARY 28, 2017:  Providence College (PC) today announced that the College will make a gift of $100,000 to support Catholic education in Rhode Island in honor of its Centennial. PC President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. announced the gift at a press conference with The Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, and Catholic school representatives at St. Pius V School in Providence.

“In this, our Centennial year, it is only fitting that Providence College recognize and support the efforts of Catholic education in Rhode Island. There is no better preparation for an education at Providence College than the academic rigor and spiritual formation provided at a Catholic elementary and secondary school,” said Father Shanley.

“On behalf of the Diocese of Providence, I am very grateful to Father Shanley and Providence College for this outstanding gift to our Catholic schools. The financial support is itself very encouraging; it will make a significant difference for many of our students and their families. The partnership with Providence College confirms the unique contributions our schools make to our Church and the broader community,” said Bishop Tobin.

The College’s gift will be made through the Diocesan Catholic School Office (CSO) in equal sums of $25,000/year for four years. The money will be used for scholarships to students attending Catholic elementary and secondary schools via the CSO’s Anchor of Hope Fund, a diocesan financial assistance fund that helps financially strapped families secure a Catholic school education for their children. Part of the gift will be used to create the Bishop Matthew Harkins Founder Fund in recognition of the founder of Providence College. This fund will provide tuition assistance to students attending five urban Catholic elementary schools in the City of Providence: Bishop McVinney School (South Providence), Blessed Sacrament School (Mt. Pleasant), St. Augustine School (also Mt. Pleasant), St. Pius V School (Elmhurst) and St. Thomas Regional School (Fruit Hill).

The gift will be paired with a service component involving PC students, faculty, and staff. The five elementary schools mentioned above all have Reading Weeks, Service Days, and other events where the presence and support of members of the Providence College community would be of great benefit to the individual school communities. Many students at these schools would also benefit from having PC students as mentors and/or volunteer tutors. The College will work with the CSO to ascertain the need at each school and coordinate volunteer opportunities for PC students, faculty, and staff.

The scholarships and the service component are expected to begin with the start of the new academic year in September.

PC won a national competition in 1993 to establish the Alan Shawn Feinstein Institute for Public Service, and became the first college or university in the country to offer a major in Public and Community Service. Today, PC students, faculty, and staff volunteer over 50,000 hours annually at more than 125 community agencies, schools, and other non-profit sites throughout Greater Providence. “Service is an important part of our culture and helps define a Providence College education,” said Father Shanley.

Founded in 1917, Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars. The Catholic, liberal arts college has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 3,900 students and offers degrees in 49 academic majors. Since 1997, Providence College consistently has been ranked among the top five regional universities in the North according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

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