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Akron Domincan to be Honored
$7.31 million in gifts make possible Our Lady of the Elms growth project

AKRON -- September 24, 2007--- Our Lady of the Elms School started work on a $7.31 million renovation and expansion, including a performing arts center and a new gym. The new buildings will be named after the late Lilbby Schaeffer, OP (Akron) former Executive Director of the Dominican Leadership Conference and prioress of the Akron Dominican Sisters. (DLC sponsors

The project is being paid for with a $6 million donation from David and Ann Brennan and a $1.31 million gift from Lynn Holland Gorman and Lisa Holland Toth. The women donors are alumnae of the all-girls, Catholic Dominican school, which now has 375 students in kindergarten to 12th grade.

David Brennan said Thursday that family is the only thing his wife loves more than the Elms. He owns White Hat Management, which operates for-profit charter schools nationwide.

Ann Brennan said her husband's $10 million donation in 2003 to his alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, opened the door for her to do the same.

"Equity demanded that I get my fair share," she said.

The project includes a new gym with 400 spectator seats and a walking track. The current gym will be transformed into a dance studio, fitness center, offices and locker rooms for home and visiting teams. The school's theater will be renovated, along with the student commons.

The new performing arts and athletic center will be named for the late Sister Elizabeth Ann (Libby) Schaefer, who embodied the mission of the school through her kind, strong and nurturing ways, Ann Brennan said. Schaefer died in 2003 and was a longtime prioress of the Sisters of St. Dominic.

Gorman said she and her sister, who both have children attending the Elms, saw a need to improve the campus. Gorman and Toth are former executives of Holland Oil.

The Brennans' daughters graduated from the Elms, and their grandchildren now are students.


Akron Dominicans launch renovated website.

Libby Schaeffer, OP (Akron)

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