Rocco A. Abessinio ’59 Makes Historic $16 Million Gift to Salesianum School

Unprecedented in Delaware - stands as the third largest gift to a Catholic secondary school in US history.

Salesianum is proud to announce a landmark $16,000,000 gift from Rocco A. Abessinio ’59 and the Rocco A. & Mary Abessinio Foundation. The gift will be used to fund the construction of a new stadium on the Baynard Site and also continue the Abessinio family’s commitment to the Salesianum School Endowment. This gift is the third largest gift to a Catholic secondary school in the United States and the largest gift ever to a private school in Delaware.
In recognition of his commitment to Salesianum, the school will name the stadium in Mr. Abessinio’s honor.  While the Baynard Stadium lease agreement was rightfully celebrated by the Salesianum and Wilmington communities alike, the ultimate realization of the vision set forth in that agreement was always dependent upon securing the resources to fund the proposed changes.  This gift is a major step towards achieving this reality. With this gift, Salesianum is hopeful that demolition of Baynard Stadium can begin in early summer 2019, with Abessinio Stadium completed in time for the football season of 2020. Salesianum is eager to get started and confident that entire school community shares our joy in this announcement and joins us in thanking the Abessinios for their continued leadership.

Salesianum has evolved from a small, fledgling school - founded with just four students - to an institution with graduates across the globe, and a reach far beyond our corner of 18th & Broom.  That journey required vision, but it also required generosity. Today, we celebrate both. We are grateful for Rocco and Mary Frances's unprecedented investment in our mission, and doing so with an understanding that the dividends will be shared by everyone in our community for years to come.