With Lifted Hearts

List of 4 items.

  • 45,000

    New Square Feet in Fitzmaurice Hall
  • 4,800

    Square Feet in the Expanded Makerspace Innovation Lab
  • 8,400

    Square Feet in the New Addition
  • 700

    Amazing Students

With Lifted Hearts Campaign for 21st Century Learning at Saint Joseph Academy

Our vision for Saint Joseph Academy in the 21st century is rooted in what has always defined and distinguished us as a school: we will support innovation and academic excellence in a community where faith thrives.
Today we stand at the forefront of exciting changes in high school education, making us a school of choice in the city we call home. The strength of our education is reflected in our strong enrollment and our students’ exceptional academic performance.

Our growing student body and continued innovation in the classroom means our beautiful Academy building no longer fully supports the number of students we teach, or the collaborative, project-based education we provide.

Although the pandemic may have caused us to pause some of our efforts and reimagine others, now is the time to build on the strengths of Saint Joseph Academy that set us apart and to give our students and faculty the facilities they need, creating a campus where ingenuity, artistry and spirituality can truly flourish. This campaign is in response to a time of need – a time that demands compassionate female leaders who can create, innovate and transform our world for the better. We have an extraordinary opportunity to ensure that Saint Joseph Academy’s most impactful years are still ahead.

Support this exciting transformation with your gift today!
We are thrilled to offer a way to explore Saint Joseph Academy in your own home! Watch the virtual tour of our beautiful campus including the Fitzmaurice Hall and the Makerspace innovation lab renovations.

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  • Campaign Steering Committee Roster

    Rebecca Dessoffy Bennett ’91, Honorary Chair
    Nancy Conway, CSJ ’65, Honorary Chair
    Mary Lou Wasmer Durkin ’54, Honorary Chair

    Chuck and Maureen Fallon Adler ’79, P’06 ’08 & ’10, Co-Chairs
    Catherine O’Malley Kearney P’24, Co-Chair
    Kathryn H. Purcell, President

    Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis ’71
    Mary Ann Fischer ‘66
    Joyce Joecken, CSJ N’61
    Mary Smetana Kolick ’83, P’15
    Cathy Lanning Knittel '67, P'97
    Julia Litzler Mayer P’21
    Diane Strojin ‘83
    Cheryl Brady Strom ‘87

    Contance Sipple, CFRE, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
    Erin Grace, Director of Major and Planned Giving

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Why do we have a campaign?

    Saint Joseph Academy is in the midst of its With Lifted Hearts campaign, a multi-year fundraising initiative to raise capital to move our campus forward for future generations. It also secures the Academy as a leading high school for decades to come as we continue to transform the bright minds of our young women into the compassionate leaders of tomorrow’s global society. 

    The With Lifted Hearts campaign is comprised of three phases:

    Phase 1 supported renovations to Fitzmaurice Hall which created 10 additional classrooms, open study areas, prayer/reflection rooms and administrative offices. This phase was completed for the start of the 2020 school year.

    Phase 2 supports the creation of an expanded Makerspace innovation lab in the Academy building. The space is five times the size of the current lab. The majority of renovations were completed for the start of the 2020 school year, making the space available to be used as additional classrooms for the start of the 2020 school year.

    Combined, these improvements increased our learning space by nearly 33,000 square feet. The availability of this extra space could not have come at a more opportune time, as it was necessary for our successful Return to School Plan.

    Phase 3 will be an 8,400 square foot addition to the Academy Center to provide a new secure public entrance, a collaborative student commons space and expanded areas for the fitness, athletics and performing arts programs. Construction will begin when fundraising goals are met.
  • What is the significance of the Fitzmaurice Hall name?

    In 1898, Mother Therese Fitzmaurice, CSJ bought 52 acres of farmland on the outskirts of Cleveland, inspired by a vision to keep expanding her thriving school for the education of young women. This is the same campus the school occupies today. At the time, the area was sparsely populated and many people didn’t believe a school could succeed in that location. But Mother Therese Fitzmaurice and the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph persisted—inspired by their faith and emboldened by their vision of what the school could become on this property. While others saw farmland, Mother Therese Fitzmaurice saw potential — with a deep connection to God and nature. She designed the 45,000 square foot motherhouse/school, where classes were initially held in 1905 — and later, the Academy building in 1928. The former motherhouse is now named Fitzmaurice Hall to honor her legacy.
  • Are you renovating all 45,000 square feet of Fitzmaurice Hall?

    The campaign is focused on renovating two of the four floors. The lower two floors provide the space needed now to accommodate the size of the student body and the needs of our CORE Ministry/Theology and Social Studies programs. The top two floors are being reserved to meet the evolving educational needs of students and faculty in the future.
  • How long do I have to make my campaign pledge payments?

    The pledge period is typically three to five years.  Annual payments may differ in amount. The Academy will remain flexible to help donors make their greatest impact.
  • Is the Academy looking to increase the size of its student body through this campaign?

    The Academy is open-minded about moderately growing the student body, but not the purpose of the campaign. Built in 1928, the beautiful Academy building no longer fully supports the current number of students, or the collaborative and exploratory education provided. Renovating and repurposing current spaces will maximize efficiencies and give students and faculty the facilities needed.
  • Are naming opportunities available at Fitzmaurice Hall?

    Yes, a recognition plan has been designed to acknowledge and thank our generous benefactors who support the campaign at a leadership level. Please contact Director of Major and Planned Gifts Erin Grace at or 216.251.6788 x229.

Financial Frequently Asked Questions

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

Annual Fund vs. Capital Campaign

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Do Annual Fund contributions go toward these campus enhancements?

    No. Gifts to the Annual Fund are unrestricted and support our students and programs in all areas, including tuition assistance, academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, technology and more. A contribution to the campaign should be considered a donation that is in addition to one’s current Annual Fund support.
  • What is the difference between the Annual Fund and the Capital Campaign?

    Donations to the Annual Fund have a critical impact on Saint Joseph Academy. The Annual Fund provides flexibility to meet emerging needs throughout the year, as well as to fund ongoing programs, especially tuition assistance and professional development for the faculty. Every gift helps to sustain the legacy of the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph. The entire school community is asked for support and participation. Gifts to the With Lifted Hearts campaign are transformative gifts that are specifically designed to fund these capital improvements. Often these gifts are longer-term commitments pledged over a period of time.
  • When will I be asked to make a gift to the With Lifted Hearts campaign?

    Capital gifts require a personal approach and are often the most significant philanthropic commitment an individual or a family ever makes. By the end of the campaign, everyone will be given an opportunity to help make this vision a reality. An undertaking of this magnitude relies on the collective commitment of our various stakeholders, including alumnae, parents and community partners.

Construction Academy Creates Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Twenty students involved in the Academy's "Construction Academy" have an opportunity to have contextual educational experiences through the renovation efforts at Fitzmaurice Hall. This educational piece provides students an innovative, hands-on experience. Students have worked with architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers and other construction professionals during this exciting renovation.

The construction project is being completed by Regency Construction Services, one of Ohio's largest female-owned construction companies. Regency's Principal, Founder and President Tari Rivera is a role model in an industry dominated by men. Ms. Rivera previously served on the Saint Joseph Academy Board of Directors a number of years ago. She is also a source of inspiration for female students interested in fields including architecture, math, engineering and sustainability.

“The purpose of conducting Construction Academy is to advocate for young women to get involved in building and construction careers. Many of our team involved in this project are female,” stated Project Manager Janelle Heinle. “This really is a great opportunity to show the young women that you can grow up in construction, engineering and other STEM fields even if there aren’t a lot of women in them right now. By using all of the skills they have learned in the classroom, such as math and physics, we can show young women that there are a lot of opportunities for them in fields they wouldn't otherwise consider.”