Windows of Opportunity
A Campaign to Restore Our Historic Windows and
Provide Emergency Tuition Assistance for Our Students
For 91 years, St. Jean Baptiste High School has prepared and empowered young women of diverse backgrounds and abilities to excel in college and beyond. Throughout that time our auditorium, with its elegant stained glass windows, polished hardwood floors, and spectacular skylight, has served as an important gathering place for students, families, faculty, and staff as well as for the parish and neighborhood communities. From the Ring Day rite of passage and the excitement of monthly dances to the annual Mother-Daughter Communion Breakfast, countless memories have been made within these four walls.
We opened last school year with a Student Leadership/Civic Spirit Assembly in the auditorium. The NYPD Jazz Band performed songs of female empowerment and the Deputy Commissioner gave the keynote address. In a typical year, our beloved auditorium is also the site of the school's annual family Christmas tree lighting, Christmas Cabaret, fashion show, new family acceptance dinner, alumnae reunion, and more. This winter teaching artists from Alvin Ailey's Ailey ll program led students in dance workshops and artists from the New York City Center Education Program worked with the girls to stage a performance of Evita. The bright, light-filled space also serves as the study hall and, until the pandemic hosted after-school clubs and activities each day.
Our auditorium is the first thing eager applicants see when attending a St. Jean’s open house and, as the site of many senior-year traditions, it is the setting of their final high school memories as well. It is truly the physical and emotional center of our school.
Twelve half round windows grace the auditorium. Each contains a hand-painted center medallion depicting a religious, secular, or patriotic image. Every one is a unique example of Post World War I Americana artwork. Eight of the half rounds are transom windows above doors. Four of them cap multi-paned leaded glass casement windows. Now, almost a century since they were installed, these windows which give the auditorium its distinctive character and charm are in need of repair. The casement frames are deteriorated and rusted. Hinges are binding. Slide mechanisms are jammed. A leaded glass pane is broken. Because they can’t be fully closed, they allow in frigid winter wind, snow, and rain which create the risk of structural damage to the room. The spacious auditorium has played a key role in allowing SJB to maintain a safe social distance as we welcome students back to the building. It is imperative that we maintain a comfortable climate in which our students can work.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy's Sacred Sites Program has generously awarded SJB a matching grant to restore the windows to their former glory. This grant only covers part of the project costs and is intended to incentivize our community to donate the balance of the funds needed.
The necessity of repairing the windows dovetails with the acute need to provide emergency tuition assistance to our families now and in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In both prosperous and lean years, St. Jean's commitment to tuition assistance has never wavered, thus ensuring that the path to knowledge, character, and faith remain open to all qualified young women regardless of their financial circumstances. This commitment has never been more important than it is now.
The Windows of Opportunity Campaign seeks to raise money to restore our historic auditorium windows while also providing immediate funding to bridge the unexpected economic hardships and financial aid needs that our families face due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A gift to the campaign presents a unique opportunity to leave a lasting legacy to St. Jean Baptiste at an unprecedented moment as well as to be permanently recognized within the school building. Donors may also use a naming opportunity to honor a faculty or family member, a graduating class, or a friend. These opportunities can be secured by an outright gift or through a donation that is pledged over three years.
|Naming Opportunity||Total Gift Amount||# of Years Payable||Annual Payment|
Courtyard Casement Window with Half Round
|Interior Half Round Transom Window||$5,000||2||$2,500|
The dedication for each window will be marked with a discreet, elegant plaque affixed to the wall next to the window, door, or at the front of the room in the case of the skylight. The plaque will be placed once the final installment has been paid.