Following up on this development from the other day, David J. Eaton has published the following in a local paper — which begins by explaining the school’s connection to the Knights of Columbus, who helped raise funds for construction.
He praises the ideals and vision of KC founder Father Michael McGivney, and notes:
Is Christopher Columbus a good role model for us today? No. Was he chosen to evoke prejudice, hatred, and evil? Of course not. The name was chosen for the same reasons Fr. McGivney chose it in 1882 and to honor those Knights who helped build our school.
Some have mentioned that the cost of rebranding our schools could be significant, and this is certainly true. Everything, large and small, bearing the name or logo would have to be replaced. Business cards don’t cost much, but totally stripping and refinishing a new gym floor would. Replacing scoreboards, records, banners, and signage on three buildings would as well. More significantly, we would lose decades worth of name recognition at a time when Columbus Catholic Schools is a well-known option and enrollment is steadily growing. Having to rebuild our online community may not cost much financially, but there would be a substantial opportunity cost.
Despite reports to the contrary, the creators of the petition have not come to speak to any member of our administrative team, our dean, or any of our pastors…
…For nearly 70 years, people have been graduating from Columbus Catholic High School. We keep the name to honor their legacy and their memories of their time here. Any other name would take from them something that is important to their past, and in many cases, important to them right now.
Sixty-eight years of graduates have been taught to do well while doing good. They’ve been taught service to others, social responsibility, and civic duty. Decades of teachers, staff, parents, volunteers, and donors have sacrificed time, talent, and money to see that Columbus High School, and now Columbus Catholic Schools, succeeds.
This isn’t a statue standing alone in the middle of a square somewhere. For many of our alumni and staff, Columbus – the school – is a lived experience. Changing the name takes from them part of their own, personal history. We have kept the name throughout the years to honor the Knights and to honor those who have spent their lives supporting the school they love.