St. Angela is among 30 Catholic schools in the Chicago area to share in a $47.5 million commitment over 10 years from the Big Shoulders Fund, an independent charitable organization that supports inner-city Catholic schools.  

St. Angela School will receive “significantly increased” funding for operations, explained Big Shoulders Fund officials in their statement.  

In addition, the organization will “take on an expanded leadership role with principals in these schools to help them manage their schools toward specific goals in key operating areas of academics, enrollment, development and finances,” the statement explains.  

“We are honored to be able to provide this historic level of investment to help strengthen communities throughout the greater-Chicago area,” said James J. O’Connor, the founding chairman and current co-chairman of the Big Shoulders Fund.   

“Our own research has shown that alumni of our schools go on to vote, study, work, and volunteer at rates higher than their peers, becoming the citizens and neighbors that make our communities and Chicago a better place for all of us,” O’Connor said.    

Josh Hale, president and CEO of Big Shoulders Fund, said the $50 million commitment is a “natural next step” for the organization and builds on 15 years of providing operational and academic assistance for 75 Catholic schools in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana.  

St. Angela, which has been without a parish since 2005 and is the only Catholic school in Austin, is heavily dependent on resources from the archdiocese and Big Shoulders but also donations from alumni — all of whom “have supported our mission over the years,” Fredrick said. “The new commitment of Big Shoulders for operating expenses means the contributions of our alumni and friends can help the children more directly. Big Shoulders will not replace the investment of donors – it will help their gifts go further,” she said.

—Michael Romain

Follow these links to all of the other stories in the St. Angela School special section:

St. Angela School at 100: Next generation of visionary leadership

St. Angela’s Green Dream comes true

Alumni are advocates and supporters of St. Angela

Young artists at work

Students’ learning styles inform literacy efforts

Friends and family are St. Angela’s generous donors

Powerful allies step up for St. Angela

Why I Give to St. Angela School