Wall Streeters Go Long On Catholic Schools
Philanthropy ▶ A new breed of donors also wants a voice in how schools are run ▶ “We look for upside—and we see upside here”
The financial world’s fingerprints are all over Boston’s Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. Tile floors gleam and lockers shine thanks to money raised by the likes of Bob Atchinson, co-founder of the hedge fund Adage Capital Management. Plaques outside classrooms highlight donations from Wellington Management, Convexity Capital Management, and Merrill Lynch.
Wall Street donations to Catholic schools aren’t new. But in major cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York, donors are going beyond writing checks. They increasingly want to help run things, too. It’s setting off a new debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic schools. “It is a dance that is still being played out,” says Timothy Mcniff, the Archdiocese of New York’s superintendent of schools.
In Boston, Atchinson is a trustee for the Campaign for Catholic Schools, a nonprofit that oversaw $55 million in fundraising, making the new academy possible. In New York, in the Bronx, Richard Brennan of Value Recovery Capital sits on a board that runs 14 Catholic schools. H. Edward Hanway, former chief executive officer of Cigna, leads the Faith in the Future Foundation, which operates the