Major Gift To Accelerate JPCatholic Chapel Renovation Project

June 13, 2023

John Paul the Great Catholic University (JPCatholic) announces the receipt of a $1M lead gift for our St. Teresa of Calcutta Chapel renovation. The donor family, who have asked to remain anonymous, are the parents of a JPCatholic alum. Their extraordinary generosity now greatly accelerates our campaign to complete the fundraising necessary to renovate our Chapel building, which was purchased in 2016. This transformative gift brings the amount raised to $2M, which is 40% of the estimated $5M required. The donor’s charge is: “Let’s build a chapel!”

Our St. Teresa of Calcutta Chapel is considered critical for the spiritual formation of our students’ inquiring minds and creative imaginations in providing them with ready access to the sacramental graces, which are central to formation for the mission to Impact Culture for Christ. The historic 10,000 sf Mediterranean Revival structure, built in 1925, was designed by Louis Gill, one of the greatest architects in San Diego’s past. It was purchased in 2016 for $800K with the help of a lead $330K gift from a San Diego family. The Chapel design received a $100K lead gift from the Los Angeles based Dan Murphy Foundation.

JPCatholic’s multi-year comprehensive $18M fundraising “Build for Impact” campaign, in addition to our Chapel renovation, seeks to raise funds for student scholarships and to renovate our Creative Arts Academic Complex. The latter will allow our overall headcount to increase to 400 students. The campaign has raised $7.2M in gifts and commitments, including four transformative $1M+ and two $100K+ lead gifts.

Our Scholarship Fund initiative has now reached 58% of its $6.6M goal with both a recent gift of $250K from the Los Angeles based Bill Hannon Foundation, which brings their total gifts of $1.15M to our Scholarship fund since 2019, and the cumulative installments of $1.5M received towards a $2M pledge from a local donor family, who have also asked to remain anonymous, and are the parents of JPCatholic alumni.

Our Creative Arts Academic Complex renovation initiative is moving forward in part due to $3.2M in debt financing. The building was purchased in 2016 thanks in part to a very generous $1.5M lead gift from the Caster Family Foundation. The permitting process is on-going with the City of Escondido and we anticipate construction to begin mid-Summer, with completion expected in early 2024. It will house studio, classroom, lab and exhibition spaces for our Cinematic Arts, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts academic programs, as well as community gathering spaces. The complex build-out offers benefactors many naming rights opportunities. A free event on June 24th will invite the community to tour inside the building and see the vision for the space.

“JPCatholic provides its students with an exceptional educational experience, steeped in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition that prepares students to Impact Culture for Christ through professional success and personal lives of purpose,” says JPCatholic’s founding President Dr. Derry Connolly. “The addition of our Creative Arts complex and Chapel promise to transform JPCatholic — both intellectually and spiritually. The nurturing of broad interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation within a strong Catholic creative community will raise the hearts and minds of our students to God. As we celebrate 20 years, now is the perfect time to ensure our continued growth and our pursuit of academic and operational excellence. Transformative gifts to our Build for Impact campaign helps us meet the needs of our current students while creating a solid foundation for our future.”

If you are interested in supporting our Build for Impact Campaign please learn more here, or contact Mission Advancement Director, Ken Sharrar: or 858-437-5402