PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s recognition of a job well done, given the student success rate, with 100 percent of its graduates accepted to college, at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, in Fairless Hills, Bucks County. A benefactor with Fortune 500 credentials is bestowing a major gift.
While appearing before the student assembly, Tom Lynch, a 1972 graduate from Bishop Egan, before it merged in 1993 with Bishop Conwell, recalled how his teachers helped shaped his life.
“How they influence the rest of your lives in ways you often don’t think about,” Lynch said, “but it’s deep in your foundation.”
After ticking off a string of names of the teachers who took an interest in him as a student, Lynch was “inspired” to give back, as a successful executive, with a $5 million gift from the Danaher Lynch Family Foundation.
“It means that anything is possible for you when you get a good education, with good values,” he said.
School President Daniel Lodise says over the past few months, teachers and students have approached him with ideas on how to spend the special gift, including one of the members of their District Championship football team.
“He said I have an idea,” Lodise said. “I said, ‘Dwayne, what is it?’ He said, quote, ‘How about you hook us up with air conditioning?'”
The school envisions setting aside $2 million in scholarships and tuition assistance for families in lower Bucks County, investing in innovative academic programs, and making significant capital investments, including a $1 million renovation of the auditorium.
Each of the 500 students wrote a thank you note, placed in a basket and given to the Lynch’s, as a token of their appreciation. Then they sang their Alma Mater, some linking arms and swaying back and forth in the auditorium.
Lynch is the chairman after stepping down as CEO of TE Connectivity, a Berwyn-based technology company that sells electronic components to the automotive/aerospace and internet industries.
He reconnected with the school around 2012, when Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Conwell-Egan Catholic, along with three other high schools, would permanently close. The school raised over $3 million in short order, and seven weeks later, Archbishop Chaput announced that CEC would remain open.