Brothers Give Back to St. Ed’s
Good influence, great experiences compel Fox family to help their school
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
October 14, 2021
ELGIN—Robert and Geoffrey Fox have never forgotten their well-rounded education at St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin — even when their family moved across the country to California in 1957 following Robert’s graduation and the completion of Geoffrey’s junior year.
Fond memories of their Catholic education helped them form a strong bond and stay in touch with the school over the years. 
In 2015, Robert and Geoff were instrumental in the school’s improved and upgraded Fox Science Center, which was dedicated in their name.
Recently, their loyalty and appreciation has emerged again with a significant gift for the construction of the $4.5 million Fox Family Performing Arts Center at St. Edward’s.
All this is great news for the school which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
“The Fox family has always been very generous to our school,” said Brian Tekampe, school superintendent and principal. 
“From our strategic plans, we have wanted to strengthen the performing arts program, but progress was hampered by limited financial resources,” he said. 
“This is an incredible gift for us to move forward now and solidify our future growth. The arts are very important for all students and this gives them an opportunity to flourish while fulfilling their dreams and goals,” Tekampe added.
The new 11,158 square foot Fox Family Performing Arts Center, with a capacity of 400 seats, will be built as an extension of the school. Plans include moderate future expansion.
“As the design and development phase progresses, St. Edward High School looks forward to work on this inspiring project,” said Jan Schroeder, advancement coordinator and business manager of St. Edward’s. 
“We are deeply grateful to Bob and Geoff,” she added. “They believe in our school and feel our trajectory is on the right path. They have been amazed at our student involvement and believe that our Catholic education will continue to produce outstanding adults and community members.”
Since the early 1950’s, the school’s performance stage has been housed in the gymnasium. 
Don Haefliger, former St. Edward’s English and drama teacher for 45 and a half years, had directed 116 plays and musicals in the gym. 
He will now lead a committee of five volunteers he selected who will bring a wealth of knowledge with arts, costume, acting, and facility backgrounds to help develop the Fox Family Performing Arts Center.
 “I have always been hopeful that such a project as this would someday come to fruition,” Haefliger said. 
“When Jan Schroeder asked me to chair and form a committee to advise the architects on the project, I was ecstatic,” he said. “I almost couldn't believe that this was finally going to happen. Now that we are into the project full steam, I am totally thrilled that the teachers and students will finally have a state-of-the-art facility in which to pursue the arts and develop their talents. The arts program of the school will finally have a setting in which it can really shine,” he said.
Heading the project is the architectural firm of Perkins and Will, which boasts a St. Edward’s alum, architect Jessica Wojtas Figenholtz (Class of 1998).
In 2012, Robert and Geoffrey were chosen as the school’s Alumni of the Year. In addition, Geoffrey was awarded honorary Class of 2012 membership. 
At that time in a joint letter, the brothers wrote, “The influence and guidance we received during our time at St. Edward High School has served us well in the years that followed. Physics, engineering and mathematics have been important elements of our lives and we particularly remember Sister Annella as someone who inspired us both. We feel fortunate that our high school years were spent at St. Edward.”
For all they have personally and professionally accomplished, they achieved great success with their respective businesses, as Robert founded Fox Racing Shox and Geoffrey founded Fox Head Sports and Clothing Brand. 
No time line has been set for construction of the Fox Family Performing Arts Center. 
“We do anticipate that upon working through the process with the City of Elgin for zoning and permits, we can break ground next year in September 2022,” said Tekampe. “With that, the best case scenario will be completion in another 18 months.”


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