Gayle and Tom Benson ’44 SA Pledge $10 Million Gift for Brother Nicholas Building Endowment

The Brother Nicholas, S.C. Building Endowment honoring Brother Nicholas Geisenberg, S.C. has been established by Tom and Gayle Benson with a gift of $10 million to the St. Aloysius Century Foundation to support Brother Martin High School. In honor of this generous gift, the largest gift that Brother Martin or the Foundation has received, Brother Martin will name the student Mall, the center of student activity on campus, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Benson.

Mr. and Mrs. Benson will be honored and presented a gift from the school on the field before the Brother Martin-Rummel game at Tad Gormley Stadium on Saturday, November 3rd at 3:20 p.m.

Brother Nicholas was a Brother of the Sacred Heart for 78 years. He spent over 40 years in service to the students at Brother Martin as teacher and moderator of the Parents Club. The purpose of the endowment is to provide financial support for Brother Martin in an area very important to Brother Nicholas during his years at the school – maintaining and enhancing its state-of-the-art facility.

Mr. Benson, a 1944 graduate of St. Aloysius was named Alumnus of the Year in 1986.

Through the years, Tom has been significantly involved in the advancement of Brother Martin High School. In 1985, he and his brothers established the Benson Free Enterprise Resource Library at Brother Martin in honor of their parents, Tom and Carmen Benson. During the school’s 1995 Capital Campaign, it was through Tom’s initiative that the St. Aloysius Class of 1944 funded the building of the auxiliary gymnasium.

Quote from Mr. Benson

“When I was a young boy, I would walk with my brothers in front of St. Aloysius each day and each day we would admire a school that we could only wish to attend, but were unable, as it would have been a hardship on my parents. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart would notice us each day walking by. Brother Martin Hernandez, the school’s namesake, reached out to my father and said ‘pay what you can for the boys’. I have never forgotten that,” said Tom Benson. “The foundation for what I learned as a young man was built there. Today I pledge to the school a gift that I hope will endure for many years to come. Gayle and I are proud to be a part of the Brother Martin community and proud of the legacy the school provides forming our young men.”

Quote from John Devlin, President

“Through their wonderful generosity, Mr. and Mrs. Benson are establishing a legacy for Brother Martin, for the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and for Catholic education in the city they have helped build and re-build. The Brother Nicholas Building Endowment ensures that our campus remains the best for our students and our faculty as we further our mission forming young men for the future. It is not an overstatement to say that with their incredible gift the Bensons have made our future brighter and infinitely more secure. It’s something they have been doing for New Orleans and for Louisiana for years.”

Quote from Greg Rando ’77, Principal

“Mr. and Mrs. Benson’s gift and continued support of Brother Martin High School will allow us to constantly improve all aspects of our facility. As a school community, we want to always be at our best so that our students can be at their best, and their gift makes this excellence constant. The Tom and Gayle Benson Mall, the central meeting location for all students and teachers on our campus, will be a permanent reminder of their generosity and love of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.”

Quote from Tommy Mitchell ’79, Development Director

“The magnitude of this investment that Mr. and Mrs. Benson are making in the future of Brother Martin with a $10 million gift establishing the Brother Nicholas Building Endowment is immeasurable. Their decision will benefit young men in the City of New Orleans and surrounding areas for many years to come as Brother Martin High School will be able to continue to provide them with the best campus as well as a quality Catholic education. Our city and Brother Martin are fortunate to have Mr. and Mrs. Benson, with their caring hearts, sharing and providing leadership as we move forward. This tremendous gift is just the latest of many things that they have done for New Orleans and several of the institutions in the city. I am sure that Brother Nick is smiling today.”

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