Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory Ribbon Cuts Academic Center And Undertakes Campaign For 37,000-Square-Foot Innovation Center

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory is on the march to build and grow its campus in southeast Dallas. On Friday, September 15, more than 300 area notables gathered bright and early for the ribbon cutting of the brand new 32,000-square-foot Academic Center that was brought in under budget. Before the scissors snipped the ribbon, it was revealed that the campaign for the 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center was already underway with plans for a 2018 ground breaking. Here’s a report from the field:

Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory “welcomed home” students, families and donors, at a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of its new Academic Center on Friday, September 15. 

With more than 350 in attendance, the ceremony began with a welcome by Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard. In his remarks, Woodard recognized the generosity of Cristo Rey’s many donors for making the 32,000-square-foot Academic Center a reality, especially the Winn Family Foundation, The Constantin Foundation and the Hamon Charitable Foundation. He also extended his heartfelt thanks to the Center’s Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; as well as Frost Bank; the construction companies, Hill and Wilkinson, Marcer Construction and Perkins and Will; the School Sisters of Notre Dame; and the Cristo Rey board of trustees and staff.    

Following, Cristo Rey Dallas Board of Trustees President Richard Joyner added his gratitude and shared that because of the community’s overwhelming support the $9.4 million Academic Center was fully funded and came in under budget.   

For the 375 freshmen, sophomore and juniors attending Cristo Rey Dallas, the new Academic Center means 12 new classrooms, four science labs, teacher planning space, a TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) room, a Student Life commons and a Corporate Work Study Program suite.    

Student Body President Gerard Cardenas perhaps summed up the excitement about the Center best in his remarks with, “Wow, look at this building!” And then added, “This building will enable us to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. This building will help us graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. Thank you.”  

Woodard returned and directed the crowd’s attention to the open land behind them, which will be the site of the school’s next expansion project, a 37,000-square-foot Innovation Center with gym, cafeteria, fine arts and counseling. The new building, expected to break ground in 2018 will also be the permanent home of the expanded Corporate Work Study Program suite, which will include conference and training rooms.  

He was then joined by Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, Joyner and many donors for the official ribbon cutting.  Afterwards, the doors to the Academic Center were opened for a reception and tours.  

Chuck and Mary Blake Meadows, Kelly Roach, Cheryl Joyner and Laura Einspanier*

Ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees included Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows; Melinda Winn, Chris Winn and Alicia Winn of the Winn Family Foundation; Hilda Galvan of Jones Day; Scott Moore of PwC; Katie Robbins of Hoblitzelle Foundation; Laura and Jim Einspanier; Barbara and Jack Fraker; Mary and Mike TerryCheryl and Richard Joyner; Barbara and Jim Moroney; Kelly Roach of The Hamon Foundation and others.  

Mike and Mary Terry*

Cristo Rey Dallas’ new Academic Center was designed by architects Perkins + Will with general contractor Hill and Wilkinson in the model of a cutting-edge corporate campus.  The Academic Center offers students collaborative workspaces throughout—with movable desks, conference tables, and garage-door style walls that allow spaces to be instantly configured to meet the needs of students, faculty and families. Video monitors throughout the campus broadcast updates and information and can be connected to individual laptops to allow students to collaborate on group projects.  

Alicia Winn, Melinda Winn and Chris Winn*

The LEED-certified building is home to the Winn Science Center, made possible through a lead gift by the Winn Family Foundation. The wing features state-of-the-art chemistry, biology and engineering classrooms and prep rooms.   

Academic Center donors include:  Anonymous, The Constantin Foundation, Hamon Charitable Foundation, Winn Family Foundation, Mary and Mike Terry, Anthony Family Foundation, The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Simmons Sisters Fund of The Dallas Foundation, The Catholic Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, Lydia and Bill Addy, Jack Fraker, Suzy and Larry Gekiere, Beverly Goulet, Cheryl and Richard Joyner, The Kernodle and Madden Families, Mary Blake and Chuck Meadows, The Patricia L. and William F. Miller Family Foundation, Barbara and James Moroney, Margaret and Casey Olson and PwC.  

The 32-member Cristo Rey Network of schools is an innovative educational model that gives students a Catholic, college prep education while earning work experience in a corporate setting.  Cristo Rey Dallas students earn more than 62 percent of their college prep high school tuition by fulfilling clerical and administrative roles in a wide range of departments such as accounting, human resources, finance, marketing, information technology, legal, records, mail, and office services. 

For more information about Cristo Rey Dallas, visit cristoreydallas.org

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron

‘Draft Day’ Celebrates Cristo Rey-North Texas Business Work Study Partnership

Bishop Edward J. Burns of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas gave the invocation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings served as emcee for a while. Mike’s son, Gunnar Rawlings, executive director of the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program, also helped out. Sports personality Michael “Grubes” Gruber and Erin Hartigan, Fox Sports Southwest host, provided commentary. Even Rachel Lindsay, star of TV’s “The Bachelorette” series, put in an appearance.

Kelby Woodard, Rachel Lindsay, Edward Burns and Mike Rawlings*

The occasion: Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep‘s third annual, NFL-style “Draft Day,” presented by Frost Bank. The event, attended by more than 500 guests, was held at the school on July 28 to match the school’s 148 incoming freshmen and sophomores with their corporate work assignments for the 2017-2018 school year. The students earn more than 60% of their tuition by working one day each week at such iconic North Texas companies as Mary Kay, AT&T, Hunt Oil, Deloitte and Jackson Walker.

Mike “Grubes” Gruber, Erin Hartigan, Mike Rawlings and Gunnar Rawlings*

CEOs or senior leaders from these and more than 100 other companies turned up for the event at Cristo Rey, which is one of 32 Catholic prep schools in the Cristo Rey network. Under the work study program, the school’s economically challenged students receive work experience as well as leadership training.

David Leach and Melanie Duarte*

Noah Barron, Scott Moore and Daisy Garcia*

With top business luminaries in the audience including Greyhound CEO David Leach, PWC Managing Partners Scott Moore and CBRE Vice Chair Jack Fraker, the students were called to the stage one by one to meet their new employers. As they did so they exchanged high-fives and hugs and checked out a variety of “swag” items from their new companies, including logo t-shirts and ball caps.

“This year we are welcoming more than 35 new partners to the Corporate Work Study Program, with job teams now working in Downtown, Uptown, Richardson, North Dallas and beyond,” said Kelby Woodard, Cristo Rey Dallas’s president. “In addition to contributing more than $3 million toward the cost of tuition, the Corporate Work Study Program provides students with hands-on work experience in a real-world setting and a chance to develop leadership skills that will last a lifetime.”

BlueCross Blue Shield of Texas at Cristo Rey Draft Day*

Other companies participating in the school’s Draft Day program included HKS, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas and Tenet Healthcare.

* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith