Tom and Gayle Benson donate $10 million to Brother Martin

New Orleans, La. - Tom and Gayle Benson have donated $10 million to Brother Martin High School, the largest donation in the school's history. In honor of his gift,  Brother Martin will name the student Mall, the center of student activity on campus, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Benson. Tom Benson is a 1944 graduate of St. Aloysius and says he remembers well the generosity of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

"When I was a young boy, I would walk with my brothers in front of St. Aloysius each day and each day we would admire a school that we could only wish to attend, but were unable, as it would have been a hardship on my parents. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart would notice us each day walking by. Brother Martin Hernandez, the school's namesake, reached out to my father and said 'pay what you can for the boys'. I have never forgotten that," said Tom Benson.

The donation is being used to establish The Brother Nicholas, S.C. Building Endowment, honoring Brother Nicholas who was a Brother of the Sacred Heart for 78 years. The purpose of the endowment is to provide financial support for Brother Martin in an area that school officials say was very important to Brother Nicholas – maintaining and enhancing its state-of-the-art facility.

"Mr. and Mrs. Benson's gift and continued support of Brother Martin High School will allow us to constantly improve all aspects of our facility", says Brother Martin Principal, Greg Rando.  "As a school community, we want to always be at our best so that our students can be at their best, and their gift makes this excellence constant. The Tom and Gayle Benson Mall, the central meeting location for all students and teachers on our campus, will be a permanent reminder of their generosity and love of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart."

Mr. and Mrs. Benson will be honored and presented a gift from the school on the field before the Brother Martin-Rummel game at Tad Gormley Stadium on Saturday, November 3rd at 3:20 p.m.

Through the years, Tom has been significantly involved in the advancement of Brother Martin High School. In 1985, he and his brothers established the Benson Free Enterprise Resource Library at Brother Martin in honor of their parents, Tom and Carmen Benson. During the school's 1995 Capital Campaign, it was through Tom's initiative that the St. Aloysius Class of 1944 funded the building of the auxiliary gymnasium.