St. Xavier High School alumnus Harry Fath and his wife, Linda, have committed a $50 million gift designated towards tuition assistance, the largest gift in St. Xavier’s history and is the lead gift for the school’s $200 million 200-year anniversary campaign.
Fath, a 1959 graduate, recounts his days at St. Xavier as critical to his formation.
“St. Xavier changed my life for the better,” he said. “The expectations and opportunities people made for me transformed me into the man I am today. Linda and I feel it is imperative to make that experience available to other young men to attend St. Xavier.
This $50 million lead gift kicks-off a $200 million campaign as part of St. Xavier 200. This campaign will be part of a strategic continuous improvement plan that will lead the school into its 200-year anniversary in October 2031. Fath has agreed to be the honorary chairman of the capital campaign. In addition to greatly increased tuition assistance, the plan will enhance academic and faith formation, renew facilities and mitigate future tuition increases.
“Our gifts to St. Xavier, in the past, have been focused on one concept — a family’s ability to pay for a St. Xavier education should not be the barrier that keeps a qualified young man from attending. As I learned in conversations over the years with different presidents, and most recently Tim Reilly, affordability is still a barrier for many. I don’t ever want it to be the case that tuition cost is what eliminated the opportunity for any young man.”
Fath owns Fath Properties, a Cincinnati company that manages apartment buildings throughout Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas. He is also a minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Faths have appeared on the Philanthropy 50, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of the nation’s 50 top donors, three times. The Cincinnati couple have focused much of their charitable giving in recent years to Mercy Ships, a nonprofit that uses ships to deliver free health care to people in need in Africa. A 2021 $50 million gift followed a $50 million gift in 2018 to build the Global Mercy, the world’s largest nongovernmental hospital ship. The Faths first appeared on the Philanthropy 50 in 2017 with a $50 million gift to the Lindner Center of Hope. In 2018, their giving tallied $100 million between the Cincinnati Zoo and Mercy Ships. In 2021, they appeared again at $100 million with the gift to Mercy Ships and $50 million to the University of Notre Dame.