Victory is Ours

At the April 8 meeting of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, the school announced that it had surpassed its goal for the “March on to Victory” campaign, which culminated in a total of $7 million dedicated to the school’s 26,000-square-foot academic wing that opened in August 2018.

The multi-year campaign began in 2015 and was focused on funding for the new science, technology and arts wing that was added to the shared middle- and upper-school campus. The building houses science laboratory facilities, collaborative learning classrooms, a robotics lab, a specially designed greenhouse, and two fine arts studios.

According to Andy Guest, Notre Dame’s head of school, the campaign drew support from 211 community members, including 76 members of the faculty and staff. Initiated in the early stages of the campaign by three staff members, the faculty gift has now exceeded $150,000. In less than four years, the campaign is the most successful fundraising initiative since the school’s founding in 1994.

“We have been a beacon of excellence in Catholic education in Oakland County for nearly a quarter century,” Guest said. “This addition to our academic campus will give today’s students the opportunity to prepare for the college majors and careers of tomorrow in the sciences, botany, robotics, technology and the arts.”

Among the contributions received during the campaign were three gifts of $1 million or more, and 19 additional gifts of $100,000 or more. Leadership gifts made possible the Melissa Kozyra Greenhouse and Botany Learning Lab, the Timothy J. Easterwood Science, Art and Technology Wing, and several classrooms, fine arts studios, science laboratories, and prayer and meditation spaces in the campus courtyard. Separately, an anonymous gift of $1 million led to new turf and facility upgrades for Notre Dame’s softball and baseball fields.

“With the help of our loyal benefactors and the hard work of our campaign staff and volunteers, we truly can say that we’ve marched on to victory,” Guest said.

One of those benefactors is Notre Dame board chair emeritus Bill Kozyra and his wife, Melissa, who pledged $1 million early in the campaign. Their gift facilitated what is now the school’s state-of-the-art greenhouse, which already is helping to provide a transformational experience in botany and agriculture education to Notre Dame students.

Kozyra’s previous support for the school included a significant gift that helped fund new field turf in the football stadium, since renamed William Kozyra Alumni Field.

School parent and local businessman Timothy Easterwood’s $1 million gift for the new wing brought the amount raised to $7 million and effectively brought the campaign to a close.

“Tim’s gift is providing a timely exclamation point on our effort to fund the wing, but more importantly, it’s giving our students the opportunity to study, collaborate and learn in what I believe to be one of the finest STEM facilities in Michigan,” said Guest, when the gift was announced. “It also allows us to continue to transform our campus into one that provides all of our students, from pre-kindergarten through high school, with an exceptional educational experience rooted in our Catholic faith.”

In recognition of Easterwood’s contribution to Notre Dame, the school’s Board of Trustees voted in March of 2019 to rename the new facility the “Timothy J. Easterwood Science, Art and Technology Wing.”

Easterwood, whose daughter, Ella, is a sophomore at Notre Dame, said he was delighted to be able to help fund the school’s new facility.

“I’m pleased to invest in the school’s increasing footprint in STEM education,” he said. “I’m also confident that current and future students of Notre Dame Prep will be even more prepared and successful in their chosen careers because of this state-of-the-art building.”

The new facility officially was opened on Aug. 17, 2018.