Three generations of graduates lead Bishop McGuinness’ fundraising campaign

Several members of a local philanthropic family have fond memories of the private Catholic school they attended over the years.

Judy Love, Class of 1955, enjoyed performing in school shows as part of the Queen’s Players Club and following her flair for the news as a student journalist Chi-Rho on the campus of Bishop McGuinness High School.

His son, Greg Love, Class of 1980, enjoyed participating in the school’s annual Olympic-themed competition between classes to promote school spirit and class unity, while providing opportunities for students to do charitable donations.

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For David Love, son of Greg Love and grandson of Judy Love, winning a state high school basketball championship as one of the “Fighting Irish” was one of his favorite experiences. at his alma mater, where he graduated in 2013.

The trio, representing three generations of the Love family, found a way to show their support for Bishop McGuiness High by launching a $6 million fundraiser for their beloved school, 801 NW 50. The three members of the Love family – a family well known as the owner-operators of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores – said money raised through the campaign will fund a variety of improvements including new classroom spaces.

David Morton, longtime principal and president of Bishop McGuinness High School, poses for a photo in a classroom at the private Catholic school, 801 NW 50.

David Morton, principal and president of Bishop McGuinness, said the funds raised will enable the school to add six new classrooms, including one serving as a lecture hall which could be extended to a seventh classroom. He said the expansion will allow the school to keep class sizes between 20 and 23 students per class. The administrator said the fundraising campaign will also fund restrooms in the expansion area, as well as space for school advancement offices.

The goal is to have the building project complete and ready for the 2024-25 school year, when Bishop McGuinness celebrates his 75th birthday. Morton said the contractors and architects estimated the project would take between 10 months and a year.

“That would be our wish right now,” Morton said. “You know, funding will always dictate how fast that can happen.”

Greg Love, 60, said the idea for the campaign stemmed from a conversation he had with Morton several years ago. As a result of this discussion, Morton took him to visit the school in September 2020 and what he saw became the catalyst for current fundraising efforts.

He learned that the school was experiencing growing pains.

Bishop McGuinness High School, 801 NW 50, is shown in this photo.

The COVID crisis leads to a boom in registrations

Morton showed Greg Love several portable classrooms that have been placed on campus to handle an unexpected but welcome influx of students. The principal said the student body has grown significantly during the COVID pandemic. In an interview, Morton said that before the COVID crisis, from 2019 to 2020, the school’s student body hovered between 690 and 700 students. Morton said those numbers have been consistent for 10 to 15 years.

This changed after the school reopened after the COVID-related closure. Morton said when some school districts decided not to reopen for in-person classes in the fall of 2020, many parents sought out schools like McGuinness that offered in-person school. He said many of the newly enrolled students were Catholics attending a Catholic school for the first time. Students from other denominations and Christian denominations also enrolled at Bishop McGuiness, and school leaders quickly determined that there was a need for more classroom space.

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“So we grew,” Morton said. “We’re at around 735 students this year and as we project over the next five years, it’s easy to see that trend will continue.”

The school houses two classrooms in a portable building on campus that sits on 40 acres near NW 50 and Western Avenue.

Judy McCarthy Love

For his part, Greg Love said he was not surprised to learn that more families were enrolling their children in school. He said the pandemic obviously had something to do with increased enrollment, but the school has always been a popular educational institution. He said that the school is centrally located in the metropolitan area and offers students an excellent range of traditional courses suitable for the average student, but also many advanced placement courses and courses with advanced programs. designed for students wishing to attend Ivy League colleges and other prestigious schools. .

“McGuinness has done a great job, just in general, educating the kids and the families that go there, they’re very happy with the school,” he said.

Morton expressed similar sentiments, saying the current overcrowding should be seen as a positive.

“You know, the good part of it is that I think people recognize the quality of education that we provide,” he said. “People, I think, crave schools that are, like us, Christ-centered. And so we really work to educate what we say in our mission statement, the whole person – the spirit, body and mind.”

He said he recently spoke to a political leader in Oklahoma who told him that the school had had such an impact on the community that people with a connection to Bishop McGuinness could be found in the world of business, medicine, politics and other major institutions.

David Love

David Love, 27, said he also believes the school’s high academic and athletic reputation has always attracted many students and their families. He said it was one of the reasons he didn’t hesitate when his grandmother asked him to help lead the campaign for the capital.

“We all have our different passions and our different things that we hold dear, but McGuinness is one of the constants, pretty much, for most of my family members,” he said. “A lot of that will go to new classrooms, so to me it’s all about raising money so more kids can take advantage of McGuinness’ global offering.”

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Greg Love

Love story

Morton is in his 42nd year at the school and his 22nd as principal. He said the Love family had already shown their enthusiasm and support for the school. He said the Love family ran a major fundraising campaign for the school in 2004. This effort focused on housing around 655 students “and since that time we have certainly outgrown our building”, did he declare.

The director said the campaign, with Judy Love and Tom Casso at the helm, had been a huge success.

The current fundraising campaign hopes to build on previous improvements.

Greg and Judy Love said various companies and organizations have already shown their support for the school. Judy Love said the Chickasaw Nation donated $100,000 to the campaign. She said some companies pledged their support during the campaign’s private launch earlier this year. The campaign is launched publicly this month.

Meanwhile, in the spring of 2022, Greg Love welcomed a group of approximately 75 loyal school family members, alumni and graduates. Morton said he was heartened when everyone pledged their support for the new fundraising effort.

Judy Love, 85, said she came up with the idea of ​​having her son and grandson join her in leading the fundraising campaign because it seemed fun and highlighted their love for the school and its impact on their family.

“I thought, well, it wouldn’t be great if we had three different generations to preside over this, to run it,” she said.

Morton said the three generations of Loves are indicative of the many families who also had multiple generations of students graduating from the school. He said he had recently explored a printed yearbook from 1951 during the first year of school and was not surprised to see any familiar surnames.

“There are a lot of names in there that are still in our building today,” he said.

Morton said he envisions the school expansion as a highlight of the school’s upcoming 75th anniversary celebration.

how to help

For more information on Bishop McGuinness High School’s new fundraising campaign, visit: www.bmchs.org.

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