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Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools Receive Significant Investment from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

April 29, 2014

Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools Receive Significant Investment from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Technology and Education Innovation is Focus of Piper Trust’s Continued Support of Catholic High Schools

PHOENIX, Ariz.—Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced a $4.75 million grant to expand and enhance technology in the classrooms at six Catholic high schools. Piper Trust has been committed to supporting Catholic education which Virginia Galvin Piper initiated during her lifetime.

The proliferation of social media and technology has changed the way students learn, forcing educators to rethink approaches to teaching. In this digital age, tools like open online courses and handheld tablets expand schools’ capability to give each student a personalized learning experience. Catholic high schools, and a growing number of educational institutions, continue to emphasize the great promise that technology-based student learning holds for improving student achievement.

“Piper Trust’s grant will make a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of high school students in the Diocese of Phoenix,” said MaryBeth Mueller, superintendent of schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. “We want to use technology to engage students, enhance their learning environments, and prepare them for responsible and professional use of technology in college and in their careers.”

Through the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the six high schools that will benefit from the $4.75 million grant are: Bourgade Catholic High School, Brophy College Preparatory, Notre Dame Preparatory High School, Saint Mary’s Catholic High School, Seton Catholic Preparatory, and Xavier College Preparatory.

“While Virginia Piper could never have imagined how technology is changing education, she always believed that students deserved an education that would prepare them to make a difference in the world. We hope this grant will help realize that goal,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The Trust’s recent grantmaking totals more than $9.71 million and includes grantees that will enrich arts and cultural experiences, support literacy efforts for children, and provide new healthcare solutions in Maricopa County communities.

Hospice of the Valley’s Palliative Care for Dementia program is a pioneering option for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Patients receive specialized care in their homes, and caregivers can access respite and support. Hospice’s program is designed to improve quality of care and reduce hospital and nursing home costs. Nearly 100,000 people in Arizona suffer from dementia, which can last a decade or longer.

Wickenburg Community Hospital serves 27,000 residents living within a vast rural area. Piper Trust’s support will help fund a new Surgical & Diagnostic Center which will provide orthopedic and general surgery as well as diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopies and biopsies. Currently residents must travel a considerable distance for such services.

Grants awarded September 2013 through April 2014 include (listed by grantmaking area):


Herberger Theater Center/
Support technology upgrades and expand Wi-Fi coverage to improve theater experience.
$34,000 / 12 months

Southwest Shakespeare Company /
Implement a marketing initiative to expand programming and develop new audiences.
$130,000 / 24 months


Arizona Town Hall /
Support keynote speaker honoraria for the fall Town Hall on early education.
$5,000 / 12 months

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona /
Implement an innovative funding model designed to strengthen mentoring experiences for youth. $370,000 / 36 months

Maricopa County Department of Public Health /
Support the FindHelpPhoenix project in partnership with Maricopa Family Support Alliance.
$50,000 / 12 months

Read On Arizona Fund* /
Support special projects for the Read On Arizona Fund.
$114,475 / 12 months

Tides Foundation / (fiscal agent for The Campaign for Grade Level Reading)
Implement early literacy leadership program for Read On Arizona and its local communities.
$15,000 / 12 months

Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development /
Support youth services expansion and organizational accreditation.
$350,000 / 24 months


Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley /
Expand academic success programs designed to increase high school graduation rates of high risk teens.
$300,000 / 36 months

Education Development Center /
Prepare teachers for statewide implementation of kindergarten assessment practices.
$650,000 / 18 months

Regional Community Partners /
Develop and implement early literacy mapping tool for Read On Arizona communities.
$40,000 / 12 months

Southwest Human Development /
Enhance early learning environments of faith-based preschools.
$225,000 / 12 months


Dignity Health Foundation—East Valley /
Expand healthcare services and emergency department at Chandler Regional Medical Center (Capital Campaign).
$500,000 / 24 months

Esperança, Inc. / www.esperanç
Expand health education programs about childhood obesity and oral health in three low-income Phoenix neighborhoods.
$190,000 / 36 months

Hospice of the Valley /
Develop a palliative care program for dementia patients.
$285,000 / 24 months

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation /
Implement a medical clinic for at-risk and homeless children and young adults (Crews’n Healthmobile program).
$348,000 / 36 months

Wickenburg Community Hospital Foundation, Inc. /
Complete construction of a new Surgical & Diagnostic Center.
$750,000 / 36 months


Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun /
Support installation of exterior house ramps for homebound older adults.
$100,000 / 36 months

Regional Community Partners /
Implement three “aging in place” sites that enhance independent living for older adults to remain in their communities.
$40,000 / 12 months


All Saints Catholic Newman Center / Support completion of the chapel and social hall.
$250,000 / 24 months

The Roman Catholic Church of Phoenix / Implement technology plans in six Catholic high schools.
$4,750,000 / 12 months


Piper Fellows are each awarded $30,000 for a sabbatical and $10,000 for staff development over 12 months; fellowships support the exploration of leadership development practices, educational programs, and best practice sites around the country. Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Awards support a specific project to address a major opportunity or challenge facing a Fellow’s organization; Fellows are eligible to apply for up to $50,000.

Piper Fellows selected for 2013 are:

  • Chrysalis Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Inc.; President and CEO Patricia Klahr /
  • Desert Botanical Garden; Program Director of Conservation of Threatened Species and Habitats Kimberlie McCue /
  • Mesa Arts Center Foundation; Executive Director Cindy Ornstein /
  • Phoenix Art Museum; Director of Education Kathryn Blake /

Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Award for this reporting period:

  • Child Crisis Center /
    Implement staff development program and coordinator (Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Award).
    $50,000 / 12 months


Arizona Community Foundation /
Support administrative efforts for the 2014 Arizona Gives Day.
$10,000 / 12 months

About Piper Trust:
A private independent foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust honors Virginia Galvin Piper’s philanthropic commitment to changing lives and strengthening community in Maricopa County (Arizona). By investing in nonprofits and encouraging strategic planning for the future, Piper Trust strives to make Maricopa County a stronger, more nurturing, vibrant community. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $322 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more information, visit

* Arizona Community Foundation as fiscal agent.


Karen Leland, 480-556-7125 / [email protected]
Director, Communications and External Relations
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
1202 East Missouri Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona  85014