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the future of catholic classical education

Christ Our Light

St. Ambrose Academy Building Campaign

The Christ Our Light Campaign seeks to raise $10 million to establish a new school home within the iconic Holy Name Heights building in southwest Madison and to begin operations in September 2024. Holy Name is a beacon on a hill that first opened as a residential high school seminary (Holy Name Seminary) in 1963. Several generations of young men completed their formation there before the seminary closed in 1995. Because of this legacy, there is immense value to restore the tradition of providing a powerful Catholic education on these hallowed grounds (now for young men and women!).

our goal

$10 million

currently raised

$6 million

$500K Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Challenge!

We’ve been offered a golden opportunity with an incredibly generous matching challenge of $500,000 – a powerful catalyst to help raise the $2 million needed for Phase 2 in short order. Phase 2 entails all renovations on the ground floor – our crucial main reception entry, administrative offices, large multi-purpose Community Room, and locker room.

  • A challenge means we’ll receive the $500k matching funds after we raise another $500k. It’s all or nothing! Every gift will be doubled!
  • Gifts of any size count.
  • The match is effective until June 30No time to waste!
  • New one-time donations and/or pledges received between now and June 30 will count and the cumulative total of these must equal $500k or more.
  • Only pledge payments received in 2024 will count towards the match (by Dec 31).  The earlier the better.
  • Please submit a one-time donation hereOR download and complete this Pledge Form and mail/send your pledge to school at your earliest convenience.
  • Everyone can participate! Share this huge opportunity with friends, grandparents, godparents, colleagues, businesses you patronize… anyone who wishes to build up children and society on the solid foundation of Truth. Our graduates go to the four corners of the country (and beyond), so you don’t need to live in Madison!

Join Us! Be a Champion for Children!

Remember the deadline: All pledges and one-time gifts received by June 30 will count!

Our Vision

Situated on over 70 acres of sprawling greenspace and conveniently accessible from the Beltline, it is an ideal setting for the transformational task of educating children in the lights of reason and Catholic truth and forming them in corresponding virtue.

St. Ambrose will improve and lease two large office floors in the northeast wing to serve up to 280 students, comprising nearly 24,000 sq. ft. The school will also offer the comprehensive and desirable amenities families seek, with arrangements to use the oratory for worship, the gymnasium and outdoor ball fields and greenspaces, a renovated swimming pool room for large gatherings, and more.

We NEED you!

Catholic education in the U.S. has the capacity to equip students with the skills needed to succeed – and the character formation needed to live a life ordered to the true, good and beautiful.

The program at St. Ambrose Academy delivers on both. This school building project will bear extraordinary fruit now and for decades to come.

It is only with the support of hundreds that our school has reached this point, and now we need the generosity of the greater community once again to make this project a reality, continue our powerful program, and rectify this huge diocesan need.

Bishop Hying told a crowd of supporters: “I will do everything in my power to help make this project a success.Read about how he’s one of our biggest supporters!

So please join Bishop Hying and us. The future is ours to build. Let’s build it!




Introduction Letter (Help us make a colossal impact!)

–> Cardinal Burke “complete education

Why this powerful teaching program matters!

+ + +

For questions about this project, please feel free to reach out to:

Joseph Draves

Development Director

(920) 284- 4771

Campaign Supporters

Our Lady of Good Help

$1,000,000 or more

Anonymous (1)

St. Joseph the Worker

$500,000 - $999,999

Anonymous (1)

Ken Ballweg

Fred and Debbie Schwartz

Greg and Ann Wagner

St. Ambrose

$250,000 - $499,999

Anonymous alumni (1)

Bill and Bev Herriges

Joel and Darla Kurth

St. John Paul the Great

$100,000 - $249,999

Anonymous (2)

Patrick and Joan Carey

Mark and Grace Courchane

Randy and Rosemarie Hartung

Gene and Debbie Kiedinger

Urban and Pat Klosterman

Dr. Rob and Diane Marsland

Rick Mills

Guy and Nancy Smith

Dr. Michael Stiennon

St. Thomas Aquinas

$50,000 - $99,999

Dennis and Jeanne Breunig

+ Tod Fredericks and Dr. Nancy Fredericks

Nelson & Vera Hicks Charitable Foundation

Dr. Richard and Carol Rogers

Mother Cabrini

$25,000 - $49,999

Andrew and Anna Burish

John and Tara Darnell

John and Christina Drake

Jerry and Maureen Duhn

Matthew and Sarah Gonnering

+Jeff Hausmann and June Hausmann

Thomas and Athena Lyons

Rockwell Automation

Joseph Rupprecht and Donna Ladwig

Andrew and Maria Santo

Dr. Daniel and Scarlet Tataje

St. John Bosco

$10,000 - $24,999

James and Dr. Beth Anderson

Chris and Amy Caulum

Dr. Greg and Patricia Cooley

James and Wendy Delaney

1st Lt. William Donohoe IV (2017)

Joseph and Julie Draves

William and Joy Exner

Mary Fritz

1st Lt. Justin Hineline (2017)

John and Diane Karsten

Bob Keller

Dan and Nancy Kinney

+ Hubert Lins

Richard and Nicole Schmidt

David R. J. Stiennon, Esq.

Dr. Eric and Laura teDuits

Del and Terri Teeter

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

$5,000 - $9,999

Anonymous (1)

Bruce Bengtson

Daniel Draves

+ Prof. Robert Fowler and Alice Honeywell

Steve and Laura Karlen

Rodney Martinson

Roman Catholic Gear

Ruthe Sagartz

Suncor National Metals (Doug and Patricia Kuiper)

Dr. Jeffrey Wells and Claire Falk

Adele Brise

$1,000 - $4,999

Anonymous (1)

Greg and Lorie Ballweg

Steven and Amy Balzer

Michael Bowden (2010)

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

David and Katie Christensen

Dr. Jeffrey Davis and + Sharon Davis

William Donohoe III

Sarah Dunn

Dan and Rita Endres

Endres Manufacturing Co.

Lucille Hanson

Harrison and Amy Harker

Dr. Nick and Katie Haun

Don and Rachel Hehl

Fr. Rick Heilman

David and Mary Hoerr 

Andrew Kelly and Sylvia Vargas 

Charles Kiddy 

Gail Klassen 

Dr. Ed and Debbie Kramper 

Curtis and Judy Kurth 

+ Randy Mack

Mark and Krista McCaulley

Matthew and Rebecca Sande

John Schmitz and Jean Tretow-Schmitz

Dr. Michael and Mary Jean Seelen

Nathan and Jennifer Spangler

Dr. Tim and Sue Tansey

Fr. Bart Timmerman

Carl and Bette Weisshaar

Campaign Leadership

Honorary Cabinet Members

His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

His Excellency, Bishop Donald J. Hying
Bishop of Madison

Mr. Kenneth Ballweg
CEO at Endres Manufacturing Co.


Mr. Timothy Busch
CEO at Pacific Hospitality Group and Chairman of Napa Institute

Dr. Scott Hahn
Professor of Biblical Theology & the New Evangelization at Franciscan University

Fr. Francis J. Hoffman
Executive Director at Relevant Radio network

Dr. Timothy O’Donnell
President at Christendom College

Mr. Jay Mack
President & CEO at Town Bank (Wintrust Wisconsin Market Head)

Mr. Richard L. Schmidt Jr.
President & CEO at CG Schmidt, Inc.

Campaign Committee

Mr. James Delaney
Financial Advisor and Owner at Delaney’s Steak Seafood Wine

Mr. John Drake
Sr. Investment Officer at State of WI Investment Board

Mr. Matthew Gonnering
CEO at Widen Enterprise


Mr. Scott Hackl
Wealth and Tax Strategist at Stonehaven and fundraising professional

Mr. Robert Keller
Developer and Property Manager at Keller Real Estate Group

Mr. William Levy
Owner and CEO at BMOC, Inc. student housing

Mr. Thomas Lyons
Sr. Vice President SBA lending at Byline Bank

Mr. Joe McNeil
Founding Partner at Isthmus Partners

Mr. Richard Rogers
President Emeritus at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Mrs. Debbie Schwartz
Owner at Paoli Schoolhouse Bistro

Dr. Daniel Tataje
Owner and Dentist at Mercy Dental Group

about our supporters

Meet some of the people making this project a reality!

Benefactor & Alumnus