Astounding $42 Million Awarded Since 1995 Founding

Organization to Aim Even Higher Going Forward

(Louisville, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary.  It was on November 1, 1995 – All Saints Day – that Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly founded the organization. 

The Foundation provides awards in support of four elements of Catholic education: tuition assistance, religious education, professional development of instructors and technology in parishes and schools.

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D. D., Archbishop of Louisville, exclaimed, “We owe such deep thanks to Archbishop Kelly for his courage and vision to launch what is now a beacon of hope for thousands of young Catholic school students and their families across central Kentucky! While perhaps no one at that time dreamed of the Foundation’s broad impact today, I thank God for the success we’ve all built together and the life-lasting benefit that Catholic education has provided to families who needed our help. Indeed, it is great cause for celebration and thanksgiving!”

The Foundation’s tuition assistance program that supports students in the 39 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville is the largest segment of its mission. Over 25 years, the organization has awarded over 32,000 scholarships to Catholic school students.

Mr. Charles H. Leis, retired Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Louisville-based Bramco, Inc. and a founding Board member of the Foundation, commented, “I am so thankful for the impact of Catholic schools in central Kentucky.  When I look across this community, many of our leaders in the professionals, education, government, business, and non-profits are products of our local Catholic schools.  With the support of the Foundation, there are today thousands of Catholic school graduates living in this community and beyond who have become greater in life than they ever thought possible!”

Foundation Chair Charlie Dahlem noted, “I’m really proud to be a part of this wonderful organization! It amazes me that the Foundation can keep up with the explosion in family demand for tuition assistance, particularly over the past several years. And to provide an award to every single qualifying student in each of the last six years is just unthinkable – The Answer Truly is YES!!”

Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “Our team here at the Foundation is so God-blessed to do this work and we have so many friends and benefactors to thank for these very gratifying results! In 1999, the first year of our tuition assistance program, we supported 220 young students. By God’s Grace, this fall we are supporting an incredible 3,350 – an all-time high – with a record-tying $6.5 million in funding!”

Of the $42 million in aggregate awards since its founding, the Foundation has granted $19 million during the past five years. Reflecting on the organization’s recent prolific growth, Archbishop Kurtz said, “God provides hope when it’s needed the most. How truly magnificent it is for all of us to see!”

Commenting on the outlook for the organization, Mr. Lechleiter remarked, “When I joined the Foundation in 2014, we coined our slogan – The Answer is YES! – as an invitation to families who thought that the gift of a Catholic education wasn’t possible for their children. Little did we know how that home-made slogan would inspire an entire community to rise up and support thousands of families in need. As we look forward to further expanding our impact, the recipe is the same – He knows The Way!”

About the Catholic Education Foundation:

For over 200 years, Catholic schools have contributed significantly to the social, spiritual and economic fabric of our community. The Catholic Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the growth and vitality of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Since 1999, the Foundation has awarded over $42 million in support of Catholic education. Visit the Foundation at