Regis High School was founded in 1914, through the financial bequest of a single (originally anonymous) benefactress, Julia M. Grant,[a] the widow of New York City mayor Hugh J. Grant. She stipulated that her gift be used to build a Jesuit high school providing a free education for Catholic boys with special consideration given to those who could not otherwise afford a Catholic education. The school continues that policy and does not charge tuition.
The Grants’ former home is the residence of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, where the pope stays when he visits New York City.
Following the death of her husband in 1910, Julia Grant met with Father David W. Hearn, S.J. and, with a stipulation of strict anonymity, gave him an envelope with the money needed to start a school to educate Catholic boys. After Mrs. Grant died, her children took over the funding of the school. The last surviving member of the family, Lucie Mackey Grant, a daughter-in-law of Julia Grant, died in 2007.
Since the 1960s, Regis has relied primarily on the Grant endowments and alumni donations to keep the school tuition-free. Following Lucie Mackey Grant’s death, at an auction of her estate, Regis bid successfully for the original golden chalice used during Mass when the school was founded in 1914.
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