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The Sherwin-Williams Company and Connor Foundation announce joint $250,000 gift to Saint Martin de Porres High School

Posted May 12, 2016 in Press Releases

Saint Martin de Porres High School’s founding President, Richard F. Clark announced today that Saint Martin is the proud recipient of a joint gift from The Sherwin-Williams Company and the newly established Connor Foundation, from Sherwin-Williams Executive Chairman Chris Connor. This generous gift will support Saint Martin’s A Step Along the Way capital campaign which will fund Saint Martin’s new school building, a $26 million investment in the community. The gift was first announced by Sherwin-Williams President and CEO John Morikis during Celebration 150, Sherwin-Williams’ 150th Anniversary Celebration, on May 12, 2016.

The Corporate Work Study Program office suite in Saint Martin’s new 65,000 square foot building will be named The Connor Center for Leadership in recognition of Chris Connor’s enormous generosity and leadership at Saint Martin since Sherwin-Williams joined as a Corporate Work Study Program partner in 2005, and in celebration of his highly successful tenure as Chairman and CEO at Sherwin-Williams. Mr. Connor said, “The Connor Foundation applauds the excellent work of Saint Martin, and the Cristo Rey Network, as they continue to impact the lives of talented high school students in Cleveland. We are proud to make this combined gift to ensure that Saint Martin de Porres High School will continue to provide educational and leadership opportunities that we know will lead to success in their students’ lives. We expect these talented students will become the leaders of tomorrow for our community and exemplify the Jesuit motto of becoming ‘men and women for others.’” According to Richard Clark, “Since 2005 Chris Connor has viewed Saint Martin’s work-study program as a win-win for students and employers in Cleveland. When he and Sherwin-Williams originally signed on, they brought validity and name recognition to our program, but more importantly they got to know our students. For over a decade, students’ lives have been changed because of their experiences at Sherwin-Williams and at Saint Martin, and that is a result of Chris’s conscientious, community-focused leadership. We are humbled by this gift and are excited that The Connor Center for Leadership will be the future home of our Corporate Work Study Program.”

With this gift, Sherwin-Williams and the Connor Foundation join numerous other corporations, foundations and individuals who are supporting A Step Along the Way, including The Cleveland Foundation, The Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation, Dominion East Ohio Gas, Forest City Realty Trust, Giant Eagle and Parker Hannifin among others. Construction is underway, and Saint Martin anticipates the first phase of the building to be complete by the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

About Saint Martin de Porres High School
Founded in 2003, Saint Martin de Porres High School is a member of the Cristo Rey Network. Saint Martin has a student body of 400 students in grades 9-12, all of whom are from families of modest economic means. Saint Martin delivers a distinctive approach to education that equips students with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives. From freshman year, Saint Martin establishes a culture of high-expectations by blending rigorous academics, four years of professional work experience, Catholic moral values, and support for students to and through college. The school’s alumni base is nearly 600 men and women, many of whom were the first in their families to attend or graduate from post-secondary education.

About the Cristo Rey Network
The Cristo Rey Network comprises 32 Catholic, college preparatory high schools for underrepresented urban youth. Through rigorous academics, coupled with real world work experience, Cristo Rey students graduate high school prepared for success in college and in life.


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