Fr. Tolton Catholic High School receives multi-million-dollar gifts to eliminate debt

Donations will allow the school to focus on enriching curriculum

COLUMBIA – A $6.2 million dollar debt has been eliminated from the balance sheet of the Fr. Augustine Tolton Regional Catholic High School. Bishop W. Shawn McKnight made the announcement to the parents, faculty and other school community members today at the high school, located at 3351 E. Gans Road.

Donations from generous anonymous benefactors will allow the school community to focus on the future, Bishop McKnight said. “The donors know Tolton is providing a unique educational opportunity for high school students. Catholic education offers not just academic excellence, but also a formation of young people’s moral framework. By removing the burden of this debt, our benefactors have given us the chance to expand and enrich the educational and formation programs at Tolton.”

Most of the debt was incurred when the high school was built in 2009-2010. It includes a $337,585 loan from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Columbia.

“This is a game changer for our school,” explained interim President Jill McIntosh. “We can now actively engage in plans to expand. This frees resources to enhance our curriculum, invest in faculty professional development and retention, and maintain and grow our facilities, which will tangibly enrich the lives of our students and our staff.  I look forward with confidence to the future, not only for our Trailblazers, but with regard to the role we play in the larger Columbia community.”

The Fr. Augustine Tolton Regional Catholic High School, known as Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, develops students in spirit, heart, mind, and body, providing a rigorous academic program and expansive extracurricular offering in a Christ-centered environment. The school, which opened its doors in 2011, currently has 252 students in grades nine through 12. The school is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, which includes 38 counties in northeastern and central Missouri and is led by Bishop McKnight.