“In this struggle concerning education, the Heart of Jesus asks from us not our blood but our minds. We must strengthen our studies by intellectual work. Present day society will be saved by education.” – Madeleine Sophie Barat
In 1800, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart and, thus, began the legacy of Sacred Heart education throughout the world. As a woman who was very possibly “ahead of her time”, Madeleine Sophie realized at the tender age of twenty what she considered two important “truths”: 1) young women should receive an education equal to young men and 2) educated women would have the capability to change the world for the better. Well over two hundred years later, Madeleine Sophie’s earliest visions of providing an education that is deeply rooted in prayer and a love for Jesus Christ thrives at Duchesne Academy. In both name and spirit, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat remains the inspiration for the Sophie Society.
The Sophie Society was created to provide an endowment for the future stability and growth of faculty salaries so we might attract and retain the most qualified, dedicated and inspired educators for future generations of Duchesne students. A long time goal of the school, a faculty endowment has become especially important this past year. Since 1993 Duchesne has nearly doubled enrollment while continuing to maintain a 9 to 1 student to teacher ratio and preserve our sense of community through small class sizes. After careful consideration the Duchesne community, involving the Board of Trustees, has agreed that the target enrollment will remain at 305 students. Maintaining this number of students ensures that, just as a family does, the entire school community may continue to eat together and pray together on a daily basis. Many students and adults agree these are two aspects that make Duchesne a unique learning environment. To maintain enrollment and avoid drastically increasing tuition each year, it is vital that an endowment be created.
Separate from annual giving or any capital campaign we’ve ever launched, the Sophie Society is a unique opportunity that involves the unification of women who share a love for Duchesne and Sacred Heart education. First introduced in February of 2011, the goal of the Sophie Society is to secure 200 women who, as founding members, pledge $1,000 a year for five years in order to create a million dollar endowment. To ensure an opportunity for all, there are additional membership opportunities available. One is the Barat Family membership which involves any number of women joining efforts and together pledging $1,000 a year for five years. There is also a Little Sister membership available to women age 35 and younger who pledge $100 a year for five years. You may indicate which membership you prefer on the Sophie Society pledge card.
As with any endowment, the corpus is invested in a special account and remains there into perpetuity. The funds earned annually through the market return will be used to support faculty salaries and ensure that Duchesne continues to offer competitive salaries and maintain an exceptional teaching faculty. To learn more about the Sophie Society or if you have further questions, please contact Katie Risch Bakhit by email or calling (402) 558-3800 x1077.