The Boler Multi-Purpose Center is a buzz of activity every day at Saint Viator High
School. From its gym and health classes during the day, to its athletic training and games after school, to special events that take place regularly for parents and alumni; the three-story, 50,000 square foot addition dedicated in 2005 lives up to its billing.
“The multipurpose center wasn’t just a dream; it was an essential part of our future,” says the Rev. Thomas von Behren, Viatorian provincial.
That was the pitch that Fr. von Behren made to a former parent, John Boler, who wound up making the lead donation to the capital campaign, that ultimately bore his family name.
Boler passed away March 4 after a long illness. He was 81.
“John was the single biggest contributor to our school,” Fr. von Behren added. “He was a true partner to the Viatorian Community and our educational mission.”
Boler, his wife Mary Jo, and their five children were honored at the Night of the Lion gala in 2012. In introducing them, Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, then president, described the Bolers as donors whose legacy of giving had made a lasting impact.
“Their steadfast support of Saint Viator High School has made an enormous impact on our students’ educational experience,” Fr. Egan said. “They are a family that is committed to Catholic education and to the Viatorian mission.”
One of the Boler sons, Matt, had served as president of the board of trustees of the high school.
“We do this because we believe in the mission of the Viatorians,” Matt Boler said simply in speaking to the dinner guests.
A portrait of the family hangs on the third floor of the high school, along with other distinguished partners of the Viatorians honored at Night of the Lion galas.
But it is the Boler Center itself, literally the hub of the school, that will serve as the family’s legacy.
“For a long time my father donated anonymously,” added Matt Boler, who succeeded his father as president and CEO of The Boler Company, “but over the last 15 years, he began allowing his name to be revealed. In part, I think, he wanted to encourage others to give.”