“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.” John 11:25A, 26
On March 15, news spread throughout New Orleans that devastated the entire city. Mr. Tom Benson, renowned philanthropist and sports franchise owner, died at the age of ninety years old. Despite the heartbreaking loss his wife, Mrs. Gayle Benson, and the rest of New Orleans must endure, Mr. Benson left a legacy behind worth celebrating.
Mr. Benson was most famously known as the owner of New Orleans’ beloved Saints and Pelicans teams. However, as many locals know, Mr. Benson’s ownership of those teams was just a part of his gift to our city. His extensive list of philanthropic contributions has enhanced the lives of millions, ranging from the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner Hospital to the Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Complex here at Dominican.
The dedication of the Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Complex was a memorable day for all Dominicans. Mr. and Mrs. Benson joined the on-campus celebration on April 22, 2016, to usher in the physical symbol of STREAMTM, bringing together Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math at Dominican. The two-story, 16,940 square foot science and technology complex ascended over campus, and the Dominican shield beamed on its tower, marking the birth of a new initiative.
Thanks to the Bensons’ generous donation, Dominican students study sciences in state-of-the-art classrooms and labs. In addition, they have a place to reflect and find down-time in the Peace Garden, nestled outside of the Technology Center.
The Technology Center, housed in the Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Center and funded by the Erminia Wadsworth/Azby Fund, provides space for students to work and study. They can practice presentations on the flat screen televisions, study in the individualized study rooms, and receive support from faculty who are always ready to help throughout the day.
“The Tech Center is my favorite place to go for free period and study with my friends,” said junior Grace Schaumburg. “I know I can come here at any time, and teachers will be available to help with schoolwork.”
The Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Center has forever changed the landscape of the Dominican campus. Mr. and Mrs. Benson’s commitment to Catholic education will live on not only in the hearts of New Orleanians, but within the Dominican community in particular.
“Our hearts are grateful for the Bensons and all the benefactors,” said Dominican president Dr. Cynthia Thomas. “It is because of them that this extraordinary building is a part of Dominican students’ Catholic formational and educational experience for generations.”
May Mr. Tom Benson rest in peace.
- Claire Dinwiddie, editor in chief