October 22, 2012
Kansas City, MO –The Goppert Foundation, longtime benefactor and cherished member of the Avila University family, was among a select group recognized for support of the University during a President’s Circle reception Sept. 27 on the Jeanne Hamilton Olofson Plaza.
The Goppert Foundation was recognized and honored as an inaugural member of the Father Jean Pierre Medaille Society for having contributed more than $1 million to the University. Fr. Medaille was the Jesuit priest who founded the Sisters of St. Joseph in the 17th century. Two centuries later, six of the Sisters traveled from France and settled in Carondelet, Mo., just outside St. Louis. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founded Avila in 1916.
“The Goppert Foundation is a leader in philanthropy and understands that a great university can have a great impact on our community and the world,” said President Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA. “It recognizes Avila not just for what it is, but also for what it can be and are supportive of our quest for ongoing improvement and excellence.”
The Goppert banks were one of the first to lend to individuals in the Kansas City community, helping to purchase homes and start small businesses. The Goppert Foundation continues this tradition of investing in our community, providing a financial safety net for students and helping students access high education. It quickly responded when severe cuts were made to Access Missouri, the state’s only need-based scholarship program, making sure that the neediest of Avila students would maintain the level of aid received previously.
“The Goppert Foundation has always placed a high value on higher education,” said Foundation Executive Director Tom Goppert. “It’s been our pleasure over the years to work closely with Avila University, and it’s very gratifying to know that our support has helped Avila students fulfill their desires and goals of achieving a college degree.”
Tom Goppert with the Goppert Foundation was presented with a Medal of Honor by President Slepitza and given an engraved purple crystal vase filled with lilies, symbolic of St. Joseph.
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.