The Foundation for  Catholic Secondary Education  of Greater Grand Rapids


The Foundation for  Catholic Secondary Education  of Greater Grand Rapids (FCSE) exists to promote and financially support the religious, charitable and educational endeavors of Catholic Central and West Catholic High Schools in the Diocese and its Diocese through the responsible investing and distributing of resources according to the Gospel and the wish of each donor.


The Foundation for Catholic Secondary Education was founded in 1975 through the vision and hard work of Tim Conroy,  Lyle Morrison and Fr. John McDuffee who recognized a need for a significant endowment fund to support both high schools. With the help and strong support of Bishop Breitenbeck and the Diocesan priests, the FCSE began with an initial donation of $55,000, made up of $1000 gifts from both clergy and individuals. Appeals began at the parish level with Tim and Lyle invited to speak after Masses to obtain monthly donation commitments from parish members. A testament to the high level of clergy support, the first Board of Trustees was made up of eight area priests.

As the endowment grew, the annual appeal model was replaced with a full time Foundation Director; most recently Deacon Jim Hessler and prior to him, Michael Wolfston.  This fall both school boards, with the consent of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, placed the work of the FCSE on both West Catholic and Catholic Central’s development departments.


The Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation that operates for the advancement and development of philanthropic support to Catholic Central and West Catholic High Schools. It is organized on a nonstock, directorship basis with an independent Board of Trustees.

One hundred percent of the Foundation’s administrative costs are paid through private funding via the Audrey, Dennison and Marguerite Mohler Funds. Due to their generosity and foresight, every dollar donated to the Foundation goes directly to the support of both of the high schools.

We are happy to announce that of June 30, 2017 total net assets have grown to $13,038,969, up from $11,869,445 one year prior.  While this growth and the size of the endowment is admirable and a testament to the hard work of all those that have come before us, we have a vision of growing this endowment substantially over the next five years.


Here’s the breakdown of where you can give:

West Catholic Endowment:  This fund, just one year old, allows you to contribute any amount, either one time, annually or monthly to support the tuition needs of West Catholic students.

Individual Named Scholarships:  West Catholic currently has 19 established endowed scholarships. You may contribute to an existing fund or create your own.

The FCSE General Fund: Currently holding almost half the net assets, this fund currently contributes to tuition assistance at both West Catholic and Catholic Central.

Individual Named Shared Scholarships:  There are currently 12 established shared scholarships with tuition assistance going to both high schools.

Catholic Central Endowment: also has an  endowment fund specifically for Catholic Central students and 22 named scholarships.

I also invite you to join our St. John Paul II Legacy Society.  Contact Cindy Kneibel ( for details on how you can make a lasting contribution by including West Catholic in your estate plans!

Thank you to the 2017-2018 Board of Trustees!

President: Mark Scott
Vice President: Fred Lake
Treasurer: Miles Schmidt
Secretary: John Lowery
Angela Sanborn
Robert Johnson
Jeff Heitzman
Julie Fischer
Mike VanHaren
Nancy Kennedy

For more information on Planned Giving, CLICK HERE.