(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville recently announced that a significant gift to its permanent endowment was made by Mrs. Betty Schutte in memory of her late husband, Joe, who passed away in 2009.  The new fund, to be named The H. Joseph Schutte Memorial Scholarship Fund, will provide financial assistance in perpetuity to families who cannot afford the full cost of Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville.  The amount of the gift was not disclosed.

Mrs. Schutte and her late husband educated their children in Louisville’s Catholic schools.  Betty, a long-time member of St. Margaret Mary parish, wanted to show her gratitude for Catholic education and allow others to share in that experience who may not otherwise be able to do so.

Betty remarked, “Catholic education was always a priority in the Schutte family, and Joe and I made sure that it was meaningful to our children and grandchildren.  Looking back, it is obvious that this pathway enabled our family to be productive and successful in our lives.  Now it is time for me to share this same gift with others who want a Catholic education but can’t afford it.”

Joe Schutte, who was raised in Louisville, graduated from Flaget High School and later earned his degree from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 1956.  After working for Eli Lilly and Company early in his career, Joe became an independent pharmacist.  In 1983, he established GeriMed, Inc., now a national group purchasing organization supporting the independent pharmacies servicing long-term care and home care patients.  Joe served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company until his retirement.

Betty noted, “Joe was a great husband and father who valued his own Catholic education as the basis for his lifelong success.  The value that he placed on education, desire, taking advantage of opportunities, and hard work played an important role in his career as a successful entrepreneur.  I am hopeful that students who benefit from this fund will embrace their Catholic education just as Joe did.”

Richard A. Lechleiter, President of the Catholic Education Foundation, expressed his enthusiasm for this meaningful gift, “In honor of her late husband, Betty Schutte has allowed the Foundation to expand our reach to even more families who need us the most.  How thrilled we are that this gift will help generations of young students receive one of life’s greatest gifts – a Catholic education!  What could be better!”

The Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, reflected with gratitude on the Schutte family gift.  “On behalf of everyone in our community, I want to extend my deep thanks to Betty Schutte and her family for this wonderful and perpetual gift to the Catholic Education Foundation.  We are so blessed by this act of charity, and I am so grateful for all of the families whose lives will be forever changed by the gift of a Catholic education.”

The Schutte gift is the second addition to the permanent endowment since its founding in 1995.  Last year, the Bernard A. Dahlem family donated $500,000 to the endowment.

Betty Schutte, recently retired from the family business, enjoys spending time with her four married children and eight grandchildren.

About the Catholic Education Foundation:

 For over 200 years, Catholic schools have contributed significantly to the social, spiritual and economic fabric of our entire 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 $26 million in support of Catholic education.  Visit the Foundation at