(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of the Archdiocese of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced that it has received a $500,000 gift from Mr. Bernard A. Dahlem and his family that will be named for his late mother, Helen Asman Dahlem (1907 – 1974).

The Foundation has agreed to raise an equal amount for the new fund, bringing the total value of the Helen Asman Dahlem Scholarship Fund to $1 million. This historic gift will equal the single largest in the Foundation’s history and represents the first addition to the permanent endowment since the Foundation was established in 1995. Earnings from the new fund will be used to provide Catholic school tuition assistance across the Archdiocese of Louisville in perpetuity.

Speaking on behalf of his family, Mr. Dahlem remarked, “My mother received the great gift of a Catholic education at St. James Elementary School and, in 1925, she graduated from Presentation Academy as its Valedictorian. It was those days of her life that inspired her to embrace her Catholic faith. Today, we are providing this gift to generations of deserving children whose families long for the same God-blessed education that my mother received in her life.”

During her days at Presentation Academy, Helen Asman served as the President of the Catholic Students Mission Crusade and presided over its national meeting in Chicago in 1925. She then attended Nazareth College, now Spalding University, earning a full academic scholarship. In 1928, she married Joseph C. Dahlem and they raised their family in Louisville.

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archbishop of Louisville, commented, “Bernie Dahlem and his family have provided a new and exciting lift to the mission of the Foundation, and their generous gift will not only help those families who need us today, but those who will need us for generations to follow. What a very powerful gift indeed! I know that I speak for everyone in our community when I say “Thank You” to Bernie and his entire family. How blessed we are!”

Mr. David P. Calzi, Foundation Board Chair, expressed his deep thanks to the Dahlem family, “The Foundation is changing the lives of thousands of young children and their families across central Kentucky through the gift of a Catholic education. The Helen Asman Dahlem Scholarship Fund, which will amount to $1 million in short order, will propel generations of young Catholic school students who cannot afford this life-changing experience. How grateful we are at the Foundation for the amazing generosity and foresight of Bernie and his family.”

Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “I want to thank Bernie and his family for starting something that will surely inspire others to do the same; that is, to give an endowment gift that will forever benefit young families who want their children to have the experience that truly lasts a lifetime – a Catholic education. At the Foundation, we can’t wait to raise the funds to match this gift, allowing the Helen Asman Dahlem Scholarship Fund its full benefit to so many young students! Indeed, the legacy of Helen Asman Dahlem will continue to leave a profound impact on our Catholic school community for many years to come.”

About the Catholic Education Foundation

For over 200 years, Catholic schools have contributed significantly to the social, spiritual and economic fabric of our entire community. The Catholic Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the growth and vitality of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Since 1999, the Foundation has awarded over $22 million in support of Catholic education.

The Foundation and its funding partners – the Archdiocese of Louisville, the 40 Catholic elementary schools, School Choice Scholarships of Kentucky, and Community Catholic Center – currently support more than 2,400 Catholic elementary school students in central Kentucky through tuition assistance grants aggregating $5 million. Visit the Foundation at www.ceflou.org.

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