November 7, 2010 (Kingston, Jamaica): There was much to give thanks for when Campionites and well-wishers came together to honour the Jesuit founders of the school at a Mass and Reception held yesterday (Saturday November 6, 2010). Campion parent and Chairman of Mayberry Investments Ltd, Chris Berry, announced that he and his family would donate US$25,000 to the school’s Vision 2020 Campaign to build Jamaica’s first modern library media centre, bringing the total donations and pledges to the Campaign to US$820,000.
“I feel very privileged that my children are able to attend Campion,” said Mr. Berry at the event held at the Knutsford Court Hotel. “Campion is made up of Jamaicans from all walks of life and all creeds and colours. They share a common bond of being high achievers from a very young age. At Campion, they will prosper from sharing the benefits of a Jesuit education.”
Campion launched its first major capital campaign in over 20 years in September of last year with the announcement of a pledge of US$350,000 from Hon Gordon “Butch” Stewart OJ. With state-of-the-art technology features, the new library media centre will be named the Jonathan Stewart Library in honour of Mr Stewart’s late son who graduated from Campion in 1983. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and is budgeted at US$700,000. The balance of the funds raised in the Campaign will address other development plan priorities such as the renovation of the junior science labs.
On Saturday (November 6) alumni and parents gathered to pay tribute to the Jesuit Fathers who founded the school and continue to serve in various capacities. Special honourees were Father Joseph MacWade, SJ, a member of staff for some 36 years and Father Louis Grenier, SJ, a member of the school board as well as numerous Jamaican educational institutions over the years.
In 1942, the Society of Jesus established Campion Hall Prep as a private boys’ preparatory school where many of Jamaica’s most prominent leaders in the fields of business, the arts and sciences attended. Named after the Catholic saint and Jesuit, Edmund Campion, Campion became a high school in 1960 and continued to benefit greatly from the contributions of its Jesuit Fathers who served as members of staff throughout the years, encouraging willing young minds in all aspects of learning, and laying foundations in religion, the arts, and science. Jesuits who have served at Campion College over the years include: Archbishop Samuel Carter (First Headmaster, 1960-1964), Fr. William Raftery, Fr. Farrell, Fr. Ashe, Fr. Colman, Fr. Ruddy, Fr. Reil and Fr. Krim.
Some of the highlights in the school’s history are: the transition from private to a grant-aided, coeducational public school in 1976; the school being named the top high school by the Jamaica Association of Secondary School Principals based on its examination results at CSEC and CAPE over several years; and its graduates receiving numerous national and international awards and scholarships to tertiary institutions, including 13 of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships. Just this year, three Campion students were named the top performers at CAPE in the Caribbean; they are Andre Bascoe (Foreign Languages), Sharlayne Waller (Natural Sciences) and Aston Hamilton (Computer Science).
The school is urging their alumni and other members of the school community to assist in reaching the Campaign’s goal of US$1,050,000 by December 31, 2010. Gifts can be made in cash or kind. More information is available on the school’s web site at campioncollege.com