A Bronx institution is celebrating a big anniversary this fall.
Monsignor Scanlan High School will celebrate it’s founding as St. Helena High Schools for Boys and Girls 65 years ago by welcoming alumni back for events during Columbus Day weekend.
The school was founded in 1949 by Monsignor Scanlan with the purpose of creating a high school for kids from the existing St. Helena Elementary School in Parkchester, said Karen Gennarelli, director of development at Monsignor Scanlan High School.
Scanlan was held in high regard by the community he served, said Gennarelli.
“Monsignor Scanlan was an adored man,” she said. “He should be a saint from what everyone says.”
The boys and girls schools were renamed after him in 1972 shortly before he died in 1974, and were merged into a coed school in 1976.
Gennarelli said the alumni who graduated before the name change still identify strongly with St. Helena High School, as opposed to Monsignor Scanlan. And although the school has seen other changes over the years, it has remained the same at its core, said Gennarelli, and alumni are happy to still have a campus to come back too.
“They’re so fortunate to have a school still here,” she said.
The alumni will be welcomed back by a series of events on October 10, 11, and 12, she said, and students will commemorate the anniversary during the annual Founders Day celebrations during school on October 10. A handful of students will also give tours of the school to alumni throughout the weekends. Gennarelli said that both the alumni and students get a lot out of the tours.
“Alumni come back and meet these wonderful, dedicated, smart, ambitious young men and women, and they relate to them,” she said. “And it’s important for students know they’ll be the alumni of the future.”
The school relies on its strong network of alumni to keep the school open and successful, she added, through donations to the general school fund or to sponsor students and subsidize tuition, which is $6,600 a year without fees.
“The alumni of yesteryear understand the struggle of parents today,” said Gennarelli. “They want to give to students who walk down the halls like they did.”
Gennarelli said she’s looking forward to welcoming back the alumni to the warm, familial atmosphere of the school.
“We are hoping that a lot of people will come and that we’ll be reunited with alumni we haven’t seen in some time,” she said.
Friday, October 10:
Welcome cocktail party
Saturday, October 11:
Alumni reunion lunch
Sunday October 12:
Alumni basketball game
For more information about the events or to purchase tickets visit www.scanl