Sobrato Family Learning Commons dedicated
Posted July 18
Over 200 members of the Saint Francis High School community gathered on the school campus to celebrate the dedication of the Sobrato Family Learning Commons, the newest facility at the high school that is expected to become the heart of Saint Francis.
“The Sobrato Family Learning Commons will become the gathering point of student activity,” President Kevin Makley said at the July 8 event. “It will be a place where we fulfill our Holy Cross mission of educating the whole person spiritually, intellectually and socially.”
The dedication ceremony featured a Mass and a blessing by the Most Rev. Thomas Daly, Auxiliary Bishop of San Jose, and a ribbon cutting by the Sobrato family. Mr. Makley thanked key supporters of the project, including John A. and Sue Sobrato and John M. Sobrato ’79, well-known developers and leaders who have left their mark in many communities.
“They not only helped put Silicon Valley on the map by becoming the largest and most successful development company in the valley, but they directed their efforts toward giving generously to organizations seeking to make life better for those in need,” Mr. Makley said.
The Sobrato family has a long history of involvement with Saint Francis: John M. Sobrato actively supports the Sobrato Scholars Program, which provides financial aid to students who would not be able to attend Saint Francis otherwise, and the elder Sobratos were the first recipients of the Holy Cross Heritage Award, the highest honor Saint Francis gives for service, commitment and dedication to the school.
Also in attendance were Richard ’68 and Ginny Haughey, longtime contributors to the Saint Francis. The student center, located on the first floor, bears the Haughey family name. The Haugheys have supported several other construction projects at Saint Francis and contribute to Holy Cross Achievers scholarships.
Venture capitalist BJ Cassin, and his wife Bebe, both philanthropists who support educational causes were also present at the dedication. They have championed many school programs, and BJ co-founded the school’s SF Growth Fund and and an employee recognition program. The school library, situated on the second floor of the new facility, is named after the Cassin family.
Mr. Makley celebrated what the new facility would mean for the school.
“The Sobrato Family Learning Commons will transform student life,” he said. “The new library will be a magnet for students throughout the day, and the student center will constantly bustle with activity.”
Ready for students in the fall, the facility was designed with a focus on a modern learning environment. Classrooms and collaboration rooms are equipped with smart boards, computers and wireless access throughout. The opening of the building complements the launch of the school’s 1:1 iPad program, in which all students and teachers will be issued an Apple tablet.
“We wanted a library that would encourage students to learn together, and the Learning Commons definitely embraces this idea,” Principal Patricia Tennant said. “I know the students will be thrilled to use such a beautiful and well-thought out facility.”
The Learning Commons was also created to be like a college student union. Key student services are housed on the first floor, along with a snack bar, the Lancer Locker store and a gathering area.
“The Sobrato Family Learning Commons will be a first-rate environment to learn and will serve Lancers for generations to come,” Mr. Makley said.
In addition to the dedication ceremony, the morning also featured the induction of individuals into the Brothers of Holy Cross Society and Founders’ Circle. Donors whose cumulative contributions reach $25,000 (Founders’ Circle) or $100,000 (Brothers of Holy Cross Society) are recognized for their generosity. Saint Francis thanks all members of the Founders’ Circle and Brothers of Holy Cross Society for their generous commitment to the school.
Brothers of Holy Cross Society
Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Crippen
Mr. and Mrs. Justin Dooley
Mr. and Mrs. David Goeddel
Mr. John M. Sobrato ’79
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Bank
Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Barsanti ’80
Dr. and Mrs. Douglas Blatz
Mr. and Mrs. William Brennan
Mr. and Mrs. James R. Brenzel
Brothers of Holy Cross Provincial Administration
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome J. Crowley Jr.
Mr. and Mrs Kevin P. Cuccias
Del Favero Family Fund
Mr. George Duebner and Ms. Cathleen Benko-Duebner
Mr. and Mrs. Barry Eggers
Mr. and Mrs. J. Peter Foley
Mr. and Mrs. George Garrick
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Geraffo
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. Hurley ’75
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Jordan
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Kateley
Mr. and Mrs. William Kozlovsky
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Lynch
Mr. and Mrs. John Machado
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Maglione
Mr. and Mrs. James Nelson
Mr. David Nishikawa and Ms. Karen McCoy
Mr. and Mrs Paul Porrini
Mr. and Mrs. ’76 Richard Pouliot
Mr. and Mrs. Eric Rumptz
Ms. Carolyn Walker Shaw
The Carl Gellert & Celia Berta Gellert Foundation
Mr. Shengyang Xiao and Ms. Xiaoyu Chen