Harry & Linda Fath Pledge Transformative $1 Million to Purcell Marian High School
CINCINNATI, OH — Purcell Marian High School is one step closer to its “field of dreams” thanks to a $1 million pledge from Harry and Linda Fath.
Harry Fath, the renowned real estate entrepreneur, and wife Linda, are quiet but transformational philanthropists. They are once again making a huge impact in Cincinnati with their recent pledge to Purcell Marian High School in support of an upcoming field complex. Purcell Marian High School is located in the East Walnut Hills neighborhood and acquired the properties at 2926 Woodburn Avenue and 1619 De Sales Lane last year, making the vision of an on-campus field closer to reality.
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Fath are alumni of the school, but have been dedicated supporters of CISE, Cincinnati’s Catholic inner-city school initiative, for decades. Since the 1980s, CISE has worked to fight income inequality and poverty through access to quality Catholic education. Mr. Fath is an Emeritus trustee of CISE. More CISE students matriculate to Purcell Marian than any other Catholic high school.
Mr. Fath understands and appreciates the value of Purcell Marian as an inner-city school that serves not only the traditional Catholic parochial schools but students throughout the Greater Cincinnati community. He notes, the primary purpose of his generous gift is to energize others to support Purcell Marian and the field complex fund. During his gift consideration process, Mr. Fath enjoyed a conversation with one of the school’s most celebrated graduates, Mr. Roger Staubach, class of 1960. Mr. Staubach, a standout quarterback for the school, went on to be a Heisman Trophy winner at the United States Naval Academy. After graduation, he served a tour of duty in Vietnam before going on to play for the Dallas Cowboys. He would make four Super Bowl appearances with the Cowboys as quarterback, winning two Lombardi Trophies. Mr. Fath and Mr. Staubach spoke concerning the importance of Purcell Marian High School to the greater Cincinnati community and the impact the school has made on thousands of graduates.
The Faths are extending their support to the school at a time when Purcell Marian is experiencing a renaissance. Led by Principal Andy Farfsing, a graduate of the school himself, the school boasts an impressive International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the first and only Cincinnati Catholic high school to be accredited as such. The IB Program distinguishes IB students from participants of other advanced courses and better prepares them for rigorous academic research, writing and critical thinking. A growing Career Initiatives program provides students with hands-on collaborations with local businesses to learn outside their comfort zone and explore what is next after high school. Purcell Marian has Hispanic outreach and translation services for Latino students and their families and a successful in-school partnership with Beech Acres providing 1:1 counseling for students and family therapy. Purcell Marian’s diverse student body comes from 42 different Cincinnati zip codes and over 70 different grade schools.
“Students today are facing a much more complex world than when I graduated in 1995. We are committed to educating our students to be more prepared academically and emotionally, and working to ensure every student has a clear path to employment, enrollment in college upon graduation, or enlistment in our armed services. This gift from Mr. and Mrs. Fath is signaling a belief in the dignity and worth of our students and their experience at Purcell Marian,” says Farfsing.
Mr. and Mrs. Fath’s $1 million gift is the first seven-figure commitment to this project. The Faths hope the impact of their gift will motivate others to give. With this pledge, the field complex fund is off to a strong start but will need additional support from alumni and the community to bring the vision to life for the East Walnut Hills school.
“This school has shaped so many of us through lifelong friendships and leadership in our communities. This is more than just a field for our school. This is bigger than athletics. This is confidence in our growth and a trusted investment in what we are accomplishing with our students in and out of the classroom,” says Purcell Marian High School Board President, George Fisher. Fisher is a 1988 graduate of Purcell, and the CEO of Cavalier Distributing. Cavalier Distributing was named after the Purcell Marian mascot.
The field complex, currently in the planning and development phase, is part of an overall strategy by Purcell Marian to boost enrollment and position itself as a school of choice for area families. In addition to Purcell Marian’s use for athletics and extracurricular activities, the field will be an asset to the broader Cincinnati community with plans for hosting soccer, football, and lacrosse teams and tournaments, and welcoming nearby students from St. Francis de Sales, a K-8 Catholic CISE grade school with whom they share a parking lot.
Purcell Marian High School is located in the Cincinnati city neighborhood of East Walnut Hills. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is partnering with Purcell Marian on a timeline for completion of the field complex.
Architects for this project are MSA Design + MSA Sport.