CHICAGO - Today, the Cristo Rey Network announced that at the organization’s recent quarterly meeting of its national Board of Directors, The Spirit of Cristo Rey Award was presented to The Wilson Sheehan Foundation. The Foundation’s transformative generosity has enabled the launch of the growing movement’s ambitious and innovative approach to improving college access, match, persistence, and completion for Cristo Rey students and graduates.
"We are grateful for this venerable recognition, and humbled by our association with such dedicated teams at both the network and the school levels, working every day to improve college access and persistence for Cristo Rey students,” said Wilson Sheehan Foundation Founder Chris Wilson.
The Foundation’s investments impact every Cristo Rey school’s college-going culture through resources and tools, national University Partnerships, seed funding for college counseling and alumni advising personnel, and pre-college summer immersion programs for students.
"Since 2015, Executive Director Maureen Massaro, Grants Manager Andrea O’Connor, and Funders Chris and Lorraine Wilson have exemplified profound belief in our students and commitment to the Cristo Rey movement,” remarked Cristo Rey Network President and CEO Elizabeth Goettl. “Their magnanimous support has propelled a strategic bolstering of Network-wide capacity and focus on College Initiatives programming that is translating into real impact in graduation rates for Cristo Rey students.”
Currently, Cristo Rey Network graduates earn Bachelor’s degrees at rates more than 2x higher than the national completion rate relative to demographic peers. For the Class of 2017, persistence data projects a 2023 Bachelor’s degree completion rate three times higher than the national completion rate.
"The Wilson Sheehan Foundation’s partnership reflects the Cristo Rey spirit - one of joy, trust, and accountability,” said Cristo Rey Network Chief Advancement Officer Brenda Morris. “Together, we are impacting the lives of deserving young men and women as they pursue their dreams to achieve college success.”
The Wilson Sheehan Foundation becomes only the eighth recipient in more than two decades to be honored with The Spirit of Cristo Rey Award.