Benson Leadership Field
Stuart Hall School for Boys celebrated the completion of the first-ever greenspace on its campus with a dedication and blessing of The Benson Leadership Field on Friday, September 8, 2017.
The Benson Leadership Field was made possible through a $1 million gift from the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation. “The reason for the gift is about building leaders in our community for tomorrow,” Gayle Benson said during her keynote address. “Stuart Hall is a school where good boys become great men.”
“You’re our future,” Tom Benson added. “You’re going to be our leadership, and you’ve got to think about that. So work hard here at school so that some day, you’ll be a leader, too.”
Stuart Hall School for Boys is the only school in the greater New Orleans area to offer a Catholic, independent, all-boy education in a traditional, elementary school configuration (PK3-7th).
“The gift that you’ve decided to bestow upon us is transformative in nature and we could not be more grateful to you for working with us in the way that you’ve decided to,” Board of Trustees President Michael Hulefeld said to Tom and Gayle Benson during his remarks. “We’d like to thank you on behalf of the faculty, on behalf of the leadership of Stuart Hall, but most importantly, on behalf of the 347 young faces whose lives you’re changing through this transformative gift to our school. And not just the 347 faces that look at you today, but the next 347 faces that will come through this school, and the next 347 after that, as we continue to strive to meet our mission to develop Catholic leaders and Catholic men for this community.”
The Benson Leadership Field was designed by Spackman Mossop and Michaels, with construction led by Ryan Gootee General Contractors.
The Benson Leadership Field meets a need for an outdoor space on the Stuart Hall campus for students to play and learn. The Hulefeld Outdoor Classroom will provide an outdoor learning space that will increase health benefits in students and beautify the neighboring community. The Benson Leadership Field itself will give students the opportunity to increase physical activity, decrease stress, increase resilience, and have access to outdoor space.
Following remarks made by Hulefeld and the Bensons, the Benson Leadership Field was blessed by New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
A portion of the Benson’s $1 million gift to the Stuart Hall School will be used to fund a Leadership Scholarship Endowment Fund. “The goal is to identify a graduating student that represents the best he can be, both giving back to his Stuart Hall community and the community in which he lives,” Mrs. Benson said. “That is what my husband Tom Benson stands for and is very proud that Stuart Hall will carry on that legacy.”
Following the formal ceremony, the School community celebrated the milestone with a lively second line, patterned off the Benson Boogie, led by Stuart Hall Music Director Ryan Asprion and Fourth Grade student Sebastian Boulmay.
View the story from the New Orleans Saints here.
Blessing and Dedication (9.8.17)