“In seeing our three boys – James, Russell and William – thrive in a school that teaches and models what it truly means to live a life of faith, meaning and purpose, empowered with boundless opportunity to leave their own mark on the world in whatever shape or form they may desire, is more than gratifying, it is affirming of all we have aspired to as parents.” — Roseann & Bennett Donaldson P19, 20, 22
Forming boys to become men of Respect, Integrity, Character, and Excellence is not only a necessary and noble pursuit, it is a privilege. When such work is rooted in faith and shared by many, it truly becomes God’s work.
What most defines our community at Brother Rice is not our mutual goals, common experiences, or shared tragedies and triumphs, but our individual willingness to be authentically open and our collective willingness to embrace the many gifts in others.
It is in accepting and embracing the individual that collective achievement becomes possible. It is the essence of what it means to be a team, a school, a community – learners in the classroom and in life, thought leaders and servant leaders, champions on and off the playing field.
Our history as a school is chronicled with selfless acts in support of the common good. It is the essence of what it means to be a Brother Rice Warrior.
Such is the personal inspiration and moving example of Roseann & Bennett Donaldson. Having both grown up in Grosse Pointe, they knew of Brother Rice long before enrolling their three boys. They wanted their sons to receive a Catholic education and be among a community where bonds would last a lifetime. This was especially important to Roseann, who, as the youngest of 10 siblings, was the only one not to have attended Catholic school as it was out of reach financially at a difficult time for her family. Her Dad passed away when she was 11 years old.
Recognizing the gift that is Catholic education and the responsibility it bears, Roseann & Bennett have been active throughout their boys’ schooling and in youth sports. During the Donaldson’s seven years at Brother Rice, Roseann & Bennett have served in a myriad of ways to help advance mission and celebrate school spirit, most visibly with the design, purchasing, furnishing, showcasing, and later gifting of the “Warrior Van” to be a trademark presence at Brother Rice games and competitions for years to come.
Not being an alumnus himself, Bennett, in particular, saw in Brother Rice, a school where learning excellence coupled with championship athletics formed a unique brotherhood experience that would develop lasting values, lifelong friendships, and newfound opportunities for his sons.
Bennett, whose roots reach into the construction world where he labored on job sites as a young teenage boy, over time, methodically transitioned into an entrepreneur within the construction and real estate industry, building his business since 1997. Bennett understands the values and principles of hard work, dedication, having faith, and leadership. Brother Rice, as an institution, is aligned with his goals and teaches the similar principles that the Donaldson family values most.
From Kairos retreats to the Band of Brothers, Roseann & Bennett have been unyielding in their appreciation for each of their sons’ Brother Rice Experience – challenging them academically, spiritually, and physically to be their best selves. When Roseann asked her boys to reflect on why they wanted to come to Brother Rice, one commented, “It felt like I wanted to be part of something bigger than anything I had ever known.”
Such is the legacy of our community as Brother Rice. It is why the Donaldsons and thousands of other parents have chosen to invest in their sons with the gift of a Brother Rice education – to teach their boys to be honest, hardworking, empathetic, humble, kind, passionate, and purposeful so that they will be gifted with the values and the responsibility that comes with being a man of Respect, Integrity, Character, and Excellence.
It is in recognition of the gift Brother Rice has been in the lives of James, Russell, and William, that Roseann & Bennett Donaldson have made a $500,000 gift to ensure the life-changing experience of a Brother Rice education will remain affordable and accessible to as many qualified young men as possible.
We are humbled by the example and commitment of Roseann & Bennett Donaldson and ever grateful for this investment in the future of Brother Rice High School.
Brother Rice High School is a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School and ranked the #1 Catholic High School in Michigan. A proud private educational institution located in Bloomfield Hills.