Thank you for your patience, logic and honesty during our Town Hall meetings last week. The presentation, “Benedictine: The Next 100 Years,” on the potential relocation to our Abbey campus were received well, with constructive feedback and questions. The gentlemanly conduct of Cadets past and present was most impressive. Given the sensitive nature of the subject and the heartfelt feelings Cadets emote for their school, all were impressively measured in their words and maintained the military bearing for which the Corps is famous.
I apologize for how news of negotiations with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts reached the Benedictine family. For months, Benedictine has been working with esteemed marketing and public relations professionals to develop a timely and constituent-focused public relations campaign. However, media sources obtained some details of the negotiations between the two institutions before the execution of that strategy. It was our honest intention to discuss this news with our students, faculty, parents and alumni before submitting a press release.
Accurate and honest communication within the Benedictine community is critical during this process. To that end, we have taken great strides this year to improve our external communications. A few worth noting:
· Website: You will find our website much improved to market the glorious tradition and exciting future of Benedictine to future Cadets and parents. www.benedictinecollegeprep.org
· Social Media: Benedictine owns dedicated pages on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube for sharing news, video and imagery with our community. These can be linked to from the homepage of our website. Please add us as a friend to receive your own personal updates. www.facebook.com/bhsrva
· Scholarship Impact Reports: All endowed scholarship trustees receive biannual reports of detailed scholarship financials including growth, donations and distributions.
· Annual Report: Like many academic institutions, we are moving online for widespread recognition of our donors and easy access for all members of our community. Announcement and website link will be coming soon in our Newsletter.
Unfortunately, many members of the Benedictine community could not attend the alumni and parent Town Halls last week. Please find a narrated online version of last week’s presentation “Benedictine: The Next 100 Years” available via the YouTube link on our website, or by clicking this link directly: http://www.benedictinecollegeprep.org/TheNext100Years
An additional Town Hall presentation of “Benedictine: The Next 100 Years” will be held to provide audience for college-age Cadets during their spring break on March 12th at 1:00 pm at the Sheppard Auditorium at the Benedictine Abbey, following the Benedictine/Saint Gertrude 5K Run.
As promised, if the negotiations with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts lead to a contract for sale of the property on Sheppard Street, Benedictine will schedule a follow-up Town Hall meeting to discuss the use of proceeds and a detailed refurbishment plan.
Each of our actions, words and thoughts are important during this emotional time. Lumen Gentium reminds us “every layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a witness and living instrument of the mission of the Church itself, ‘according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal’ (Eph 4:7)” (LG 33). I pray that each of us can find a constructive voice to witness the mission of Benedictine – forming Christian men of conscience, discipline and achievement, now and for perpetuity.
Semper Fidelis and God bless,