Robert and Eleanor Romadka are committed, first of all, to one another – they have been married for 65 years. And they are deeply committed to Catholic education and their community. They have been leading donors to The Catholic High School of Baltimore, Mrs. Romadka’s alma mater – in 2001, for instance, funding the renovation of the school library – and for five decades, have done their part to support Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School. In the 1960’s, Robert became a member of the school’s advisory board, a role he still maintains today, and in the early 1970’s, he and Mrs. Romadka donated funds to establish a media center and library at the school.
Lawrence Callahan, President of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, cites the many ways in which the Romadkas have helped. “They have done everything,” he said, “from financing fundraising events to contributing to the purchase of smart boards for our classrooms.” Perhaps more importantly, the Romadkas have done a great deal to support tuition assistance grants for families who wish to send their children to the school.
Most recently, the Romadkas established The Robert and Eleanor Romadka Tuition Assistance Fund within the Catholic Community Foundation, the second tuition assistance fund they’ve set up for the school—the first being The Romadka Family Endowment Fund. “Eleanor and I have always felt very close to the school,” Mr. Romdka said. “It’s a very good school. We are just pleased that we’re able to help young children receive a Catholic education.”
Mr. Callahan explained, “This endowment fund helps us help students. We have families that can’t afford tuition. Tuition assistance lets those from a lower economic bracket become part of our school. It helps create a richer community.”
Tuition assistance plays an important role in the schools of the Archdiocese. Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, former Superintendent of Catholic Schools, said, “I love it when we hear these stories of opportunities that for many kids are just transformational. Our Catholic schools bring out the best in the children because we’re really focusing on the whole child.”
Reverend Monsignor Robert Hartnett, Pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, said, “Tuition assistance is a very important piece of our school. I think if anyone wants to have the sense that they’re doing something ongoing that will live on beyond them, setting up a tuition assistance endowment fund to help those who otherwise couldn’t receive a Catholic education is an incredibly satisfying thing to do.”
The Romadkas have found tremendous joy in supporting Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Mr. Romadka said, “We both believe very much in education. When young people have an education and drive, there’s no limit to what they can do. Their success makes you feel good. You feel like you were a small part of that.”