“From the start, we knew Cardinal Gibbons was the right community for us and school environment for our son. Everyone here is incredibly welcoming and open,” says Chris Briggs, father of Austin ’23.
“Austin’s teachers are committed to him as a learner and as a person. Our experience at Gibbons has been a breath of fresh air,” continues Kelly Briggs. “Which is why we wanted to make an investment in the school so more students can experience this special place.”
When the Briggs family joined Gibbons, they knew they could have an impact on the student body while also honoring important family members: Chris’ mother Margaret (pictured top left) and his Uncle Fred (pictured bottom left). During their son’s freshman year, they established the Briggs Family Endowment Fund in Memory of Margaret P. Briggs and Fred T. Pearce, Jr. The endowment provides tuition assistance to a student of color beginning his or her sophomore year.
Chris explains his and Kelly’s desire to ‘pay it forward’:
“We were inspired to give to Gibbons because mom and Uncle Fred benefitted from scholarships. They were raised by a single mother in Greensboro. Mom went to Duke on a full scholarship and Uncle Fred attended N.C. State on the GI Bill. Mom wouldn’t have graduated Phi Beta Kappa and gone on to have a career in education without the generosity of the family who provided her scholarship. Uncle Fred went on to work at NASA and was one of the Apollo 11 engineers.
My father is also committed to education. Following a career as an English professor at Hamilton College, he is still involved in academia and maintains an active interest in how Austin is doing in school.”
The family is equally committed to ensuring a diverse student body.
“Mom was impacted by many of the civil rights protests she witnessed first-hand. She saw how persons of color were marginalized, and she vowed to make the equal treatment of everyone a priority and raised me with that same commitment,” reflected Chris.
The Briggs Family Endowment Fund in Memory of Margaret P. Briggs and Fred T. Pearce, Jr. is one of thirteen endowments at Cardinal Gibbons that supports tuition assistance.