Dear Families and Friends of DeLaSalle,
There is no better time than the Christmas season to express gratitude… and so we shall.
Thank you for your support of DeLaSalle and our most important asset, our students – all 780 of them. Our students truly represent the breadth of the Twin Cities and our world, coming to De from over 125 area middle schools and more than 20 countries of birth. Ours is a remarkable mission at DeLaSalle. For 117 years, we have remained rooted on Nicollet Island, because it is here in the heart of the city that we best continue our commitment and outreach to young women and men from every neighborhood and every circumstance. Catholic, Lasallian, urban, historic, college preparatory, diverse, REAL, human – we are all of these things at DeLaSalle, and all of you play a vital role in our success. We thank you!
OUR MISSION and OUR PEOPLE: The core distinguishing value at DeLaSalle is socio-economic justice and equity for students – as it always has been since our founding in 1900 when this school opened to provide education for poor European immigrant families moving into Minneapolis. That is not to say we are only a school for “poor” kids. Nor are we a school for “rich” kids. We are a school built upon the belief that ALL kids have true wealth to share in their individual God-given gifts, that who they are is all that matters in the end. Over 98 percent will go to college, but who they are is what matters most.
We believe that all kids deserve access to our singular mix of college and career preparation, Catholic and Lasallian values, and authentic and equitable diversity (meaning ALL backgrounds, not just some). DeLaSalle not only represents the world in which we live today, but even more so, we know our students must be prepared for the time when they will gain employment, buy houses, join church and neighborhood communities, serve with and for justice, and raise families of their own in a far more diverse future.
If that should happen, may they parent as well as they have been parented themselves. OUR parents make remarkable sacrifices on behalf of their children and they have raised them well. We are an extension of the love and lessons offered at the kitchen tables of over 700 homes, and we are grateful beneficiaries.
Our many donors partner with parents to make all of this work. Parent tuition payments (and all families pay tuition at some level) make up the majority of our income, but without question, the financial support of alumni and friends helps us help even more students and families. This year alone, we are supporting 53 percent of our students with reduced tuition based upon calculated financial need; the total amount of our commitment to these students is $3 million dollars. We are a school for ALL kids.
Contrary to what others may assume, DeLaSalle has never received a subsidy from any organization for operational support or capital improvements. We balance our budget all on our own each year. Through donor gifts to the annual fund, to the Brother Michael Collins Legacy Scholarship Fund, and the “Gateway to the Future” campaign, our benefactors partner with tuition paying parents, filling the gap so that a DeLaSalle education may be accessible for families with identified need. So many of our donors were helped themselves with assistance in generations past. The faces change, the mission endures. Now that’s a lifelong lesson. That’s a gift.
So in this season, as the Class of 2017 receives the many, many acceptance letters from colleges across the country (and they are), and as hundreds of prospective Class of 2021 Islanders tour DeLaSalle and submit application materials (and they are, too), we are exceptionally grateful for you. Your support of young women and men who are proud to call themselves Islanders is extraordinary. May the humble message of the manger birth and of this season, of a Savior’s enduring love and mercy for ALL nations, resonate in your hearts and homes throughout the New Year. Be assured that we will be continue to be careful stewards of that message, of your support and prayer, and of each child entrusted to our care.
Thank You and Merry Christmas from DeLaSalle!