An Exciting Funding Opportunity for Chesterton Academy
Andrew Redleaf, founder and CEO of Whitebox Advisors, has announced that he is renewing last year’s Redleaf Challenge for Chesterton Academy. In a dramatic surprise announcement at this year’s Chesterton Academy Annual Benefit Gala, Mr. Redleaf said that once again has will match, dollar for dollar, any donations that come into Chesterton Academy before May 30, up to $75,000.
Mr. Redleaf is a native of the Twin Cities and a graduate of St. Paul Academy and Yale University. A passionate supporter of classical education, Mr. Redleaf, who is Jewish, came forward last year to sponsor the largest fund-raising initiative ever for the young independent school, which teaches in the Catholic classical tradition. The result of a grass-roots movement of parents, Chesterton Academy offers a classical, faith-based education at an affordable cost.
On what Chesterton has achieved so far:
“After making last year’s grant I have kept up even more closely with what is happening at Chesterton. It’s great: the curriculum, the school’s leadership, and especially by the students. It’s rare today to encounter young men and women who interact so well with adults, kids who look you in the eye, speak in complete sentences, and have something to say.”
On Chesterton’s classical curriculum:
“Chesterton is really delivering on the promise of the classical curriculum. Headmaster Nieman gave me a tour through the reading list and what’s expected of the students and I had one word to say afterward: ‘impressive.’”
On Chesterton and personal growth:
“My wife Lynne and I went to the Chesterton Academy Gala again this year. We were both struck by the demeanor, the maturity, the poise, and the kindness of the students to us and especially to each other. This was an adult event, with dinner and dancing, but to see the Chesterton students on the dance floor was to see a picture of how any parent would want to see his own sons and daughters to treat others and be treated. If every school, could raise up adults like those young men and women this country could face the future unafraid”
On high impact giving:
“One of the most amazing things about Chesterton is how much the school achieves with so few dollars. Like any donor, I want to see maximum impact from my contribution. No organization I support does more good, dollar for dollar, than Chesterton Academy.”
On the entrepreneurial spirit at Chesterton:
“I love the entrepreneurial spirit of the faculty, the parents, and especially the students. When something needs to be done, they don’t look around and ask, “who’s paying?” They do it. A great example is the sports program. I have seen the Chesterton budget; I know they have no money for a sports program. But they have a sports program! Including a girls’ basketball team that dominated its league! The boys did great too, but next year we need to recruit some height!”
On why a non-Catholic is taking the lead for Chesterton:
“I am not Catholic. So people ask why I am supporting ‘an independent school in the Catholic tradition.’ Two reasons:
First, Chesterton offers a rigorous classical education priced for middle-class families of any faith. That’s huge for the Twin Cities. Even more important, what the folks at Chesterton call ‘the Catholic tradition’ are really the foundational values of our civilization. And with all due respect to my Catholic friends, the Jews discovered those values a few thousand years before anyone heard of the Catholics.”
About Andrew Redleaf
Andrew Redleaf is the founder and CEO of Whitebox Advisors, an investment adviser located in Minneapolis. The firm manages approximately $3 billion and employs over 70 professionals. Celebrated by the New York Times and others for predicting the mortgage crisis long before it happened, Redleaf’s monthly client letter is avidly read and quoted not only on “the Street” but also in the financial press.