‘Donovan Catholic, Favorable Response
The decision by Ocean County's only Catholic High School to change its name is getting a favorable reaction from a number of alumni.
The switch from Monsignor Donovan to Donovan Catholic comes on the heels of the Toms River school celebrating its 50th Anniversary, according to Principal Dr. Edward Gere. "It's a refreshing of the name. It's making it more relevant. The term Monsignor, folks have trouble spelling it. They have trouble pronouncing it. They don't know what it means, so we felt this was the opportunity. Even Pope Francis himself has decided not to bestow that title on priests," said Gere.
2009 Graduate Krissa Loretto of Toms River feels the new name is strong and reiterated what Gere pointed out about the former name, "I think a lot of people don't even know what a Monsignor is, so I think that the new name is a good name. It's strong and I think it will be a good thing for the school, " she said.
Pat Asay of Toms River graduated in 1981, when the high school was called Saint Joseph, before becoming Monsignor Donovan in 1983 and now Donovan Catholic with the help of consultants. "Actually, I like it. It's got people talking, so it's already successful," Asay said, adding, "It's a catchy name."
Gere is hoping the new image and the new tag line, "It Makes A Difference," will attract students who may not have considered a Catholic education before. "This is an opportunity for families, for students, that may be haven't considered us in the past to look at us and see all that we have to offer," said Gere.
Gere said in the school's heyday, enrollment was about 900. Today, the school has about 700 students.