St. Mary's High School is an independent Catholic school. Just like other independent schools, we rely on three primary sources of revenue: tuition, annual fund, and endowment.

St. Mary's is committed to strengthening our financial resiliency. We strive to focus on developing a consistently successful annual fund to support the operating budget.

We celebrate the leaders whose strategic efforts and philanthropy made St. Mary's the exceptional school it is today. But now it is our time to impact St. Mary’s present and plan for a future of promise and possibility by significantly growing our endowment.

The endowment distinguishes itself from tuition and annual fund revenues in several critical ways:

  • Unlike tuition income and annual fund gifts, an endowment provides a stable source of revenue for decades to come

  • An endowment strengthens the position of the school by smoothing out the cycles of unpredictable ups and downs of economic change

  • Every dollar invested in St. Mary’s endowment is multiplied as the endowment grows and generates income for the school

  • Endowment helps to buffer the need for ever-higher tuition by providing a non-tuition-based source of revenue

  • The amount of a school’s endowment is a key indicator of a school’s competitive strength and long-term viability


The St. Mary's Catholic Education Foundation (SMCEF, a 501c3 non-profit organization) exists to support the mission of St. Mary's High School by allowing benefactors to make sustaining gifts to the school through a variety of endowed funds.

1885 FUND

Established at the 125th Anniversary Gala in 2010, the 1885 Fund honors those whose leadership, commitment and dedication have ensured the school’s continued success for its first 125 years and beyond. Honorees of the 1885 Fund include the Sisters of Loretto who founded the school in 1885; Monsignors Raber, Kipp, Kelly, and Hoffman, who guided the school as pastors, superintendents and principals; lay leaders such as Leo Smentowski ’54, Tom Kelly and Andy Middlemist and, of course, the hundreds of faculty, staff and religious, including Fr. Rawley Myers, who served the school unselfishly over the decades. The fund provides ongoing general operating support of St. Mary’s High School.


On an ordinary Friday afternoon in the spring of 2002, Patrick Ertel ’68 walked into St. Mary’s High School and made an extraordinary gift. “I want the school to have this for scholarships for those in need,” he said as he handed over an envelope. “These are some investments I inherited from my family. I managed them for some time, but have decided that they would be best used for this purpose.”

After high school graduation, Ertel entered the seminary, but ultimately discerned that he did not have a calling to the priesthood. His love for the church and for St. Mary’s High School, however, continued to grow as he spent the next 35 years in various forms of service to others, first in the Peace Corps and then as a community volunteer. Grateful for the education that he received at St. Mary’s, Ertel decided to create an endowed fund in his family’s name. The Ertel Family Endowed Scholarship Fund provides a lasting revenue for financial aid. Ertel hopes to add to the fund in the years ahead. 


Ernest J. Golobic moved to Colorado Springs more than 20 years ago upon retiring from the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago. Though he and his wife, Catherine, had no formal connection to St. Mary's, they valued Catholic education and supported the school with yearly gifts to the Annual Fund. When Mr. Golobic’s sister-in-law, Margaret A. Rick, passed away she left him a modest inheritance. To honor his sister-in-law for her generosity and his wife’s commitment to Catholic education, Mr. Golobic chose to create the Margaret A. Rick Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund to support the school’s financial aid program. This permanent fund provides the school with revenue to help ensure that St. Mary's will be available to those in need. Shortly before his death in 2004, Mr. Golobic contributed some of his own assets to the scholarship fund and, with his daughter’s encouragement, changed the name of the fund to The Ernest J. Golobic Family Endowed Scholarship Fund.


Greg Ernster ’77 and his wife, Suzanne Blichmann Ernster, parents of Lauren ’06 and Paul ’08, established the Ernster-Blichmann Family Endowed Scholarship to provide need-based tuition assistance to students, particularly those interested in math, the sciences, sports, and/or debate. When possible, the gifts follow the receiving students for their entire time at St. Mary's, after their continued need is proven to the foundation each year.


The St. Mary’s Catholic Education Foundation has established the Tom Kelly Scholarship Fund in memory of Tom Kelly, who faithfully served the St. Mary’s High School community as a member of the school board, foundation board, and in advisory capacity for more than 25 years. The fund benefits scholarship and financial aid programs of St. Mary’s High School.


The St. Mary’s Catholic Education Foundation established the Clergy Fund to assist with the funding of the clergy office at St. Mary’s High School, including the salary of a school chaplain and supplies needed to carry out the office’s mission.


Named in honor of (religious) Sisters Valerie and Ann Monica Pierce, the Good Sisters Fund supplements funding of the school’s curriculum and teacher development. Each semester, the departments heads submit grant requests to the principal for funding of curriculum or programs that would not otherwise be available. In creating the Fund, Sister Valerie hoped that it grow through additional gifts from St. Mary's families, friends, and alumni.


Patrice and Jerry Tafolla established the Tafolla Family Fund endowment in gratitude for all that St. Mary's has provided their family, including an excellent education for their daughter, Sarah ’13, and son, Michael ’15. Their association with the school is a lifelong relationship rooted in faith, community, and a sense of belonging. The Tafolla Family Fund is a legacy gift, providing permanent funding for debt relief and tuition assistance. At the end of each fiscal year, 5 percent of the balance of the fund is available to the school for the following school year.
The Tafolla family intends to be lifelong supporters of St. Mary's High School, through the Annual Fund and events like the Golf Classic and the Gala, and by adding to this endowment fund. They encourage other families to consider a gift that will provide for the financial future of the school.