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"The Walter family has always had a special relationship with St Vincent -St. Mary High School," says Leo Walter III VM76. His father, Leo Walter Jr. V50, and his 9 siblings all graduated from St Vincent High School. In total, over 120 relatives have been part of the Irish tradition. This includes Leo III and his wife, Mary Ann's, four children Julie Walter Stumm (VM99), Colleen Walter Rudgers (VM01), Leo IV (VM05) and Cory (VM07). "My wife, Mary Ann, and I know how much our children benefitted from the high-quality Catholic education and range of extracurricular and athletic activities they took advantage of during their four years at STVM," says Leo. He adds, "their education and experiences equipped them well for college, work, and starting their own families."
For many years, Leo III volunteered development expertise to help build STVM's endowment, support its operating needs, and provide tuition assistance to deserving students. "Our high school is an educational jewel for the Akron-area," says Leo. On average, more than 95% of STVM high school graduating seniors go on to college or military service annually. In Ohio statewide, just 56% of high school seniors enroll in post-secondary education. This academic success makes STVM one of the very best high schools in the state.
"As a family, we believe in Catholic education and the values it represents," adds Leo. Leo's parents, Mary Kay and Leo Jr. (V50) taught each of his siblings the importance of giving back and especially supporting Catholic schools. Leo's dad and his 9 siblings established the Leo and Margaret Walter Scholarship in honor of their parents, Leo and Margaret Walter. This scholarship provides tuition assistance to 8 students annually from St Vincent Parish who attend St Vincent -St Mary High School. Additionally, his parents and their cousins John D. May (V34) and Marilyn Resley May (V41), had established Charitable Remainder Trusts which also included STVM as beneficiaries.
"Mary Ann and I are proud to continue this legacy by designating St. Vincent -St. Mary as a benefactor in our will. We are sharing our story in the hope that other alumni, parents of alumni and friends of the school will also consider leaving STVM in their will and/or by supporting the school annually," says Leo. Leo adds, "Just as our children received an excellent Catholic education, learned many life lessons, and established lifetime friendships, we hope to ensure many more students in the future will gain the benefits of a degree from STVM."
The Walter Family invites the Irish community to consider a Legacy gift to St. Vincent -St. Mary High School as part of their estate planning strategies. Leo adds, "no gift is too small to support St. Vincent -St. Mary High School. BE YOUR BEST, BE IRISH!"