Gala commemorates Benedictine's 130th anniversary

October 10, 2017

Honored guests, students, faculty, staff, the University’s Board of Trustees leadership and members of the community enjoyed a dinner and entertainment provided by the Larry King Orchestra at Benedictine University’s inaugural Founders Gala. Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University marked 130 years of providing a Catholic education at its inaugural Founders Gala on October 7, paying homage to the founding monks of the institution while raising funds to support students through scholarships. The festivities were a part of the University’s Homecoming heritage and history celebration and recognized today’s monks of St. Procopius Abbey and sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery.

“More than 40 years ago, the monks entrusted the well-being of the institution to the lay leadership of the Board of Trustees,” said Benedictine University President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., M.F.A. “Since that time, Benedictine has gained national and international recognition through major partnerships. We have brought the Benedictine DNA to many communities, and we were honored at the Founders Gala by the Lisle, Springfield and Mesa communities for our service.”

Nearly 300 people including members of the religious community, alumni, students, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees leadership attended the event, which included dinner, performance art by Gregory Adamson, a live auction and dancing with music by the Larry King Orchestra.

Approximately $100,000 was raised from the event to support the University’s newly created Mission Fund, which provides vital assistance to the University’s most financially at-risk students.

“We gathered to celebrate 130 years of investing in student success and to support the next generation of Benedictine alumni – specifically those students who are on their way to earning a degree, but are facing significant financial hardship,” Brophy said. “We are very appreciative to all our donors and sponsors who have generously helped our students by participating in this event.”

The fund’s purpose is to provide every student who qualifies with access to a Benedictine education regardless of financial circumstances.

Students who have exhausted all other possible avenues of financial support including student loans; have been impacted by job loss, disability, illness or death of a parent; and who demonstrate successful progress toward completion of their degree, may qualify for the Mission Fund.

“The funds raised at the Founders Gala will help these students as soon as the upcoming Spring 2018 semester begins,” Brophy said.

Those interested in learning more about the Mission Fund can contact Len Bertolini, vice president of University Development, at (630) 829-6127 or


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 6,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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