For more than 10 years, the Dallas Diocesan Education Endowment Trust and the Bishop’s Invitational have served those with the most need by providing tuition assistance.
Back in 2010, our area Catholic Schools were welcoming fewer students than in earlier decades as costs of education kept rising. At that time, the Bishop of Dallas (Cardinal Kevin Farrell) saw an opportunity to leverage donations given to the diocese to support the development of children’s faith and education. Knowing that an endowment trust could be a great tool to provide ongoing support for more students to enroll in our Catholic schools, even if they could not pay full tuition, the Dallas Diocesan Education Endowment Trust was formed in 2011. It was formerly known as ‘DEET’ and is now called the “Endowment Trust.”
In 2011 Len Ruby was named the chair of the Endowment Trust and he continues to serve in this role. He has a dedicated team of leaders from across Dallas that took the original $13M, which has consistently grown to the present day. Their investment strategy and success ensure that the Endowment Trust can support students with up to 5% of the fund each year (from investment earnings), keeping the corpus of the Trust intact. Since 2011 the fund has grown to about $40M.
What has the Endowment Trust accomplished so far?
The Endowment Trust focuses on providing tuition assistance to the students with the greatest financial need. This year, we are supporting nearly 1,000 students through the $1.7M in assistance being distributed.
From its beginning through this 2022-2023 school year, the Endowment Trust has distributed a total of $13.5M to more than 7,500 students.
The Endowment Trust has been able to keep at least nine area Catholic schools open over the years when many families could not pay their part of the tuition during especially tough economic times like the recession and the pandemic.
How does it work?
Every year we can distribute up to 5% of the total endowment funds to provide tuition assistance.
We watch for ways to keep families in our Catholic schools even when tough economic realities unfold. For example, the Endowment Trust has been able to quickly and quietly provide extraordinary distributions of funds when another supporter closed and could not cover their commitment, or when many families endured losses and hardships and could not pay their part of the tuition (e.g., during recession and pandemic).
Who should know about the Endowment Trust?
The Endowment Trust committee is working closely with the Diocesan Office of Development and The HALO Initiative on enhancing the visibility of the Endowment Trust throughout the Diocese of Dallas in parishes and schools to further its mission and impact for students in need.
HALO coordinates and distributes the tuition assistance program for Diocesan schools on behalf of the Bishop’s Invitational, the Diocesan Educational Endowment Trust, and other community partners. As funds continue to grow, the partnership with The HALO Initiative elevates everyone’s efforts to get the assistance to families who need it most.
How to learn more?
To invest in this legacy for Catholic education, contact Kelly Halaszyn at the Diocese. He will be happy to connect you to others who can share more and answer your questions.