Connelly Campus Center dedicated to St. Joan of Arc:

Announcing the Aquinas Academy and
St. Leo’s High School Conference Room!

The Connelly Campus Center dedicated to St. Joan of Arc provides Bellarmine with a unique opportunity to honor the history and legacy of these two high schools for girls, which combined with Bellarmine in 1975 to create a co-ed Catholic high school for the greater Tacoma region.  The second floor conference room of the new building, a beautiful room of 500 square feet, has been chosen as a space to honor these two institutions, their alumni, and the legacy of religious and lay educators whose tireless efforts created and nurtured these schools for decades.  This prominent conference space will become “Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy and Saint Leo’s High School Conference Room."

Founded by the Sisters of Saint Dominic in 1893, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy was the first Catholic high school in the Tacoma area.  St. Leo’s High School opened its doors in 1912 as a joint effort of the Jesuits and the Sisters of the Order of St. Francis, and continued as a girls-only high school after the founding of Bellarmine in 1928.  For over 123 years Tacoma has an uninterrupted record of educating high school women in the Catholic tradition.  The merger of the three schools in 1975, driven by economic and demographic imperatives, was a challenging and courageous undertaking designed to preserve Catholic education for boys and girls in the region.

Following the merger of the schools, Bellarmine took on the important responsibility of sustaining the legacy of the two girls schools, including honoring their alumni, preserving their history, and keeping alive the memory of the work of the women who pioneered Catholic education here and served the Tacoma community for so long.

The “Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy and Saint Leo’s High School Conference Room” will be a major feature of the new Campus Center, equipped with high-level finishes and technology, where honored guests will be welcomed to the campus of Bellarmine Preparatory School.  It will be a space utilized by the entire community for gathering, training, and learning together.  It will include permanent installations of art or memorabilia to help educate visitors on the legacy of the two schools and their important role in the history of Catholic education in Tacoma.  We are fortunate to have this great opportunity in the new Connelly Campus Center to create a permanent, visible memorial here at Bellarmine for these two pioneering institutions and their alumni.

Donate Now to help us make the Aquinas &
St. Leo's Conference Room a reality!

To view the Connelly Campus Center community of donors, click here.

For more information, contact Al Hove, J.D., Director of Philanthropy at 253-879-9728 | email or click here.