Largest-Ever Gift Brings Cathedral Near Campaign Goal

Posted: Updated:
The new Innovation Center is expected to cost $12 million. (rendering courtesy of Cathedral High School) The new Innovation Center is expected to cost $12 million. (rendering courtesy of Cathedral High School)

Cathedral High School in Indianapolis says a $2.5 million gift will lead to the construction of a new Innovation Center. Michael Browning, chairman of the board at Indianapolis-based Browning Investments LLC, and his sons Michael and Christian made the donation, which is the largest single gift in the school's history. Cathedral says the gift brings the school just shy of the $25 million goal in its Centennial Campaign and allows the school to break ground on the $12 million facility.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cathedral President Rob Bridges said the Innovation Center will help the school adjust to a changing education landscape.

"Kids are different today. That's the bottom line. They learn differently and we are accepting that and also realizing that we have to educate them in a different way," said Bridges. "The way they learn, having the cell phones and technology just hard wired into their very core from birth, we have to do things differently and open spaces, working in groups, having a teacher maybe sitting amongst the students rather than at the head of the students, that's really hard to do in the old 24x24 square classroom."

The Centennial Campaign was launched in September. Cathedral says it has reached $24.6 million toward the $25 million goal, which it hoped to achieve by June. The gift from the Browning family was fueled by the December sale of Indy-based tech company MOBI, which was co-founded by Michael Browning II and Christian Browning, among others. 

Bridges says, with the help of the gift, the Innovation Center will put the school way ahead of where it currently is in providing for the needs of students, specifically in the STEM-related areas. "We still have the same cinder block school that we've had forever that a lot of schools have had that are really wonderful and traditional but don't really lend themselves to the way that things are being taught and learned today."

Bridges says the Innovation Center project is currently in the design phase. The school hopes to break ground on the project early next year and have it open by the fall of 2021.

Cathedral said in September, in addition to the Innovation Center, the campaign will also fund growth in the school's endowment to support tuition assistance and teacher compensation, as well as an initiative to transform Brunette Park and enhance the city's east side.

Bridges says the Innovation Center will help the school adjust to a changing education landscape.
  • Perspectives

    • Take Time to Face Reality

      When is the last time that you as a business owner truly stopped for 30 minutes or an hour and truly took some quiet time to reflect on your business? Like most owners, it’s probably been quite some time. We all get busy doing things, working hard, taking care of customers, running the business. But if we don’t take some time each day, week, month or quarter to slow down, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Business leaders and owners need the time to slow down to...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (Image provided by the Capital Improvement Board.)

      Indy Alters Plans for Downtown Hotels

      The city of Indianapolis has announced plans to change the framework for a major project in downtown Indy that has sparked controversy. The $120 million project, announced in October 2018, calls for an expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and two new hotels at Pan Am Plaza, which would add about 1,400 rooms. The project has drawn criticism from a group of hoteliers, who have expressed concern of a potential oversaturation in downtown Indy. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued...

    • (Photo Courtesy: Roche Diagnostics)

      Roche VP on List of Influential Women Executives

      An executive with Roche Diagnostics has joined an exclusive list of prominent and influential women, including Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.  Cindy Carlisle, Vice President of Human Resources at Roche Indy, was named to Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America. 

    • Shelly Timmons

      IU Health Names New Leader of Neurosurgery

      The Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Health Physicians have named Shelly Timmons to lead the department of neurosurgery. She previously served at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center as vice chair for administration in the department of neurosurgery and director of neurotrauma.  

    • Bank of America Merrill Lynch Adds Mar

      Bank of America Merrill Lynch has named Lucia Mar as senior vice president and the newly created position of Indiana market executive for Global Commercial Banking. She most recently served as market manager for the Greater Tennessee market in business banking. Prior to becoming a market manager, Mar was a senior relationship manager with the healthcare and institutions team.

    • (photo courtesy of Drink Culture)

      Hosts Turn Podcast Into Business

      It's easy to find podcasts on nearly any topic these days, however the creators behind one Indianapolis-based podcast have found a way to turn their hobby into a viable business. The Drink Culture Podcast, which spotlights entrepreneurs, though leaders and creators in Indy, is celebrating a special declaration by the city.