Chaminade Announces $28 Million Gift and Centennial Campaign

Posted: November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving will have extra meaning this year at Chaminade. The school received a $28 million gift from Skip Viragh '59. Fr. Ralph Siefert, president of Chaminade, announced the gift, thought to be the largest ever to a St. Louis area school, after an all-school Thanksgiving Mass.

“This amazing act of generosity will benefit future generations of young men,” said Fr. Siefert.

Skip Viragh, a 1959 graduate of Chaminade, passed away in December of 2003. His legacy will be honored by the creation of the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts. The Center will include a 1,000 seat auditorium, a 150 seat black box theater and teaching space for the visual and communications arts.

“Skip always loved Chaminade,” said Mark Viragh '66, Skip’s brother. “It made an impact on his life. He wanted to help Chaminade do something special so that other young men might have access to the same sort of experience.”

Members of the Viragh family, joined by students, staff and alumni, were on hand as the school officially kicked off its Centennial Campaign. The fundraising effort seeks to raise an additional $10.5 million to underwrite endowment needs, athletic facility improvements, and renovations to Canning Residence Hall.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for today’s announcement. We are grateful for 100 years of Chaminade dedication to cultivating the inherent gifts, skills and talents of young men, and for the incredible generosity of Skip Viragh,” said Fr. Siefert. “We will best show our gratitude by encouraging others to be generous to ensure the success of this campaign so that we are prepared for our next 100 years of service.”

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