COVID-19 Financial Impact on Brebeuf

Kyle Fowler '21, Staff Writer

The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on many institutions in our society. One of these institutions is Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. The health impacts of the virus are clear. In the past year, Brebeuf has transitioned to online learning for a significant amount of time on two separate occasions.

What isn’t clear to the average student, parent, or faculty member is the economic impact the pandemic has had on Brebeuf. Recently, Brebeuf’s CEO of Finance Ron Galle detailed the economic impact the pandemic has had on operations at Brebeuf. 

A key aspect of revenue for Brebeuf is sports. Normally, football and basketball games are packed with fans, both home and visiting. Last year, all athletic events in the spring were cancelled. This year, fan attendance has had to be significantly limited at sporting events in order to maintain social distancing. Less fans at games means less ticket and concession revenue.  

According to Mr. Galle, this loss of revenue has been offset by a decrease in expenses resulting from the pandemic. Brebeuf did not have its annual president’s dinner, a strong source of revenue for the school. Brebeuf’s flagship fundraising event, Bistro, was conducted virtually this year instead of in-person. Galle stated that a typical expense associated with Bistro is having to rent a facility, an expense Brebeuf did not face this year. This year, Brebeuf netted equal money through Bistro as compared to previous years, as donations remained strong. Mr. Galle feels strongly that Brebeuf’s great donor base is the reason Brebeuf has not severely suffered financially as a result of the pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic, Brebeuf had to splurge on COVID protective measures such as wipes, in addition to technology improvements. These new expenses were certainly costly. According to Mr. Galle, these new expenses were funded through a combination of state, county, and federal grants in addition to support from Brebeuf’s donor base. While other schools faced difficulties funding these new necessities, Brebeuf did not face as significant of a burden.

According to Mr. Galle, the hybrid environment has naturally cut expenses from the typical school year. Galle states that nothing significant has been cut. In spite of this, Galle emphasizes that Brebeuf has especially prioritized fiscal responsibility during this school year. Overall, Galle states that Brebeuf is projecting a small budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year (June 30th). Galle states that Brebeuf like any other non-profit organization strives to touch as many lives as possible. However, a small budget surplus is good to weather unexpected events, such as the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Brebeuf raised tuition, but according to Galle, this was not a result of increased expenses from the pandemic. Instead, it was seen as a necessity to combat rising costs. These costs include health care and wages. As the cost of living rises, wages need to increase for faculty and staff. According to Mr. Galle, 75% of Brebeuf’s expenses are related to personnel. If Brebeuf employees do not receive wage increases, they might take better-paying jobs at other schools. 

Overall, Brebeuf is in a financially healthy place, despite the financial challenges presented by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Mr. Galle
Photo Credit: Kyle Fowler