Gilmour Academy of Gates Mills, Ohio announces an extraordinary and unprecedented commitment of $28 million from The Howley Foundation.
The restricted gift will support 48 students in Grades 7-12 with annual scholarships and will provide for a variety of capital needs at Gilmour, including a new Student Commons and dining hall as well as the restoration of Tudor House and Tudor Gardens.
The Howley Foundation, founded by Nick Howley and his wife, Lorie, believes in the transformational power of education and the importance of a broadly diverse community. They seek to address issues of socioeconomic mobility by providing deserving students access to a quality education. Nick Howley shared, “Education is one of the most important catalysts in promoting positive change in individuals and society as a whole. Our Foundation’s goals align well with Gilmour’s mission of providing a strong academic foundation and significant character formation to students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. We know firsthand the impact a Gilmour education can have, as our children, Michael and Meg, are both graduates.”
Head of School Kathy Kenny said, “Everything we do at Gilmour is rooted in our Holy Cross mission, which calls us to ‘create a more humane and just society.’ What better way to start than by reaching out and making a Gilmour education a reality for qualified students as we promote a diverse, inclusive, just community where all students feel they belong?” She continued, “I am in awe of the generosity of The Howley Foundation and their commitment to changing the trajectory of young people’s lives through education. We are so grateful for their trust in Gilmour Academy and this incredible partnership.”
The Howley Foundation has been providing scholarships at Gilmour since 2005. However, this gift will provide for a nearly fivefold increase in the Howley Scholars Program at Gilmour, growing the number of Howley Scholars from the 11 enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year to 48 each year by 2026. The Howley Foundation has stated they wish to continue this program in perpetuity.
In addition to the 48 scholarships, the gift will provide for capital projects, including the renovation and expansion of the existing Commons building, and the restoration of the exterior of Tudor House and Tudor Gardens.
The new Student Commons will serve as the campus dining hall and will more than double seating capacity to accommodate Gilmour’s current student body, and the faculty and staff of Gilmour’s Upper and Middle Schools, as well as to allow for future increases in enrollment. The space will feature a college-style dining layout, with enhanced dining options to meet students’ varying dietary needs. It will also serve as a gathering space for student and faculty use throughout the school day.
The renovations of Tudor House and Tudor Gardens will ensure that these 98-year-old campus icons will endure for future generations of Gilmour students, faculty and alumni. This phase of restoration will remediate the slate roof and numerous chimneys; copper gutters and flashing; masonry; windows; doors and foundation; and the repair of Tudor Gardens, especially the stone balustrade, steps and walkways. These historic spaces are used for administrative offices, alumni and parent gatherings, and student meetings and events.
Nick Howley founded TransDigm Group, a Cleveland company that produces aerospace and other industrial components. Lori Howley is a horticulturist who worked for 15 years in the education department of Longwood Gardens, a non profit botanical garden in Kennet Square, Pa. The couple’s children, Michael and Meg Howley, graduated from the high school in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
Nick and Lorie Howley have been involved at Gilmour since their children arrived at the Middle School in the ’90s. In the years since, they have been loyal supporters of the school. Nick served on the Board of Trustees from 2002-2012 and now his children remain involved at their alma mater. Michael Howley ’01 is a current member of Gilmour’s Board of Trustees and, as the The Howley Foundation’s Executive Director, Meg Howley ’03 is closely involved in the Howley Scholars Program at Gilmour. Mike shared, “As graduates of Gilmour, Meg and I are thrilled with this donation from The Howley Foundation. It will provide opportunities for more students to benefit from the same academic excellence and character formation that defined our experience.”
Board of Trustees Chair Fred Botek ’85 stated, “The impact of the Howley family and this gift cannot be overstated. These multi-year scholarships that we will be able to offer will allow deserving students the chance to shape their future through the power of education. And the capital improvements planned are centered on preserving our incredible sense of community on this campus. We are so grateful to The Howley Foundation for their vision, their leadership and their generosity in support of our shared mission.”