NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Iona Preparatory School, an all-boys National School of Excellence Catholic high school located in New Rochelle, N.Y., today announced the strong endorsement of its strategic expansion plans with a cornerstone gift of $100,000 from Charles S. Jones , a graduate of the class of 1967 and a global business leader. In the coming year, Iona Prep will expand its academic program with the addition of grades K-8, extending its Catholic heritage in the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice by merging with Iona Grammar School.
"We have worked for some time to expand our community to enhance the opportunity and impact of our programs across the curricular and extra-curricular spectrum. We have certainly found the right partner in Iona Grammar School, a K-8 program of similar Catholic heritage, academic rigor, educational philosophy and service-ethos," said Bro. Thomas Leto , President of Iona Prep. "These important initiatives are only possible through the generosity of others. Iona Prep is deeply fortunate to have graduated inspiring and generous individuals who are dedicated to perpetuating the mission and contributing to the growth of the learning communities from which they graduated. We are very pleased to have benefited from Mr. Jones' past support and his current endorsement of our programs, and we are very proud to be a part of the intellectual and spiritual development of those devoted to serving their communities and to giving back."
Mr. Jones graduated in 1967 with academic honors and was the recipient of both the Liturgical Award and the American Legion Award at graduation. He received his undergraduate education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and continues his education there as a Wharton Fellow. Mr. Jones' career has successfully traversed a number of industries. From 2000 to 2006, he was Chairman and then CEO of the Toronto-based Geac Computer Corp, Toronto Stock Exchange. In October of 2001, the Wall Street Journal named Geac as the world's top performing stock in the Dow Jones World Stock Index. In 2004 and 2005, Mr. Jones was named as one of the top 10 and top 25 CEOs in Canada by Canada's National Post newspaper. Earlier in his career, he was the Group Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of U.K.-based London stock exchange firm, Shandwick, plc, which was then the largest Public Relations firm in the world. Today, Mr. Jones owns and manages Bedford Funding Capital Management, a $1.4 billion dollar private equity firm specializing in software technology investing. He resides in Bedford Hills, New York.
Mr. Jones commented, "There is no part of my education which provided me more leadership skills or that guided my business career more significantly than my years at Iona Prep. In particular, I will always be grateful to my debate coach, Mr. Robert Naverson . I am in strong support of Iona's mission and applaud the school's thoughtful expansion initiative. This will not be my last significant gift to the Iona Prep. Importantly, with the centennial anniversary coming in 2016, I hope many of our graduates will be inspired to remember this great school and what it has done for them."
In addition to this dramatic expansion into grammar grades, the generosity of donors from both the alumni and parent base has enabled important investments in Iona Prep's high school science and arts programs. Most recently, the school has invested in the reconstruction of state-of-the-art chemistry, biology and physics Labs. Additionally, a media arts and recording studio have been added to the Paul Verni Fine Arts Center. Smart Boards and other collaboration learning tools have also been added to classrooms throughout the school enhancing the ways in which students and teachers share and deliver information.