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Alum donates one million dollars to Xaverian STEM program

There’s big news for the Xaverian High School community, and it was a cause for celebration at the annual Spirit of Xaverian Gala, held on Thursday, May 15 at the El Caribe Country Club.

With leaders, alumni and honorees in attendance, school President Robert B. Alesi – also an alumnus, class of 1978 – announced a $1 million gift in support of STEM education at the school.

“This is an extraordinary time in Xaverian’s history,” said Alesi in a statement on the school’s website.

The donation was made by Mr. and Mrs. Michael T. Strianese, Michael being one of the evening’s honorees. Strianese currently serves as chairperson, president and chief executive officer of L-3, a global aerospace and national security company that employs approximately 48,000 people worldwide.

With the establishment of the Michael T. Strianese ’74 STEM Program, Xaverian will now offer its Genesis middle school students introductory classes in engineering through its Gateway to Technology curriculum, and high school students will have the opportunity to select a sequence of courses in either engineering or biomedical sciences.

“Xaverian opened in 1957 with its roots strongly grounded in Science and Mathematics education,” said Alesi. “With this remarkable gift from Mr. and Mrs. Strianese, Xaverian is moving forward by offering a 21st century science and math curriculum.”

The school’s goal, according to the president, is to be the premier Catholic school in New York State offering a comprehensive STEM program for students grades six through 12.

“Xaverian gave me the academic foundation and experience that prepared me for leadership roles throughout my career,” said Strianese, Xaverian alumnus, class of 1974. “Our country is facing a crisis due to the decline of students in STEM-related fields. Scientific and technological advancements drive innovation, job and economic growth. To maintain our competitive edge, we need academically gifted students with the expertise needed to drive our economy and help protect our nation.”

Through this program, he said, Xaverian will provide its students with the necessary resources to succeed.

“This gift will help us implement our vision of what Catholic education in the state can and should be,” said Alesi.

Strianese was one of eight honorees feted at the gala. The other honorees were Vincent Iannelli ’68, Dr. Joseph Farraye ‘74, Lt. Col. Lester Martin Hunkele, III ’65, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Oswald, parents ’14, faculty member Louis Piccola and faculty member Joseph Verde. Nearly 500 people attended the gala.

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