Mr. Jean Salata visits Cathedral Prep


Hayden Hutchinson, Managing Editor

Many students last Monday were wondering why teachers and faculty were keeping an extra watchful eye of students making a mess. The reason was a special visitor would be making an appearance. That visitor was Mr. Jean Salata a generous benefactor of the school. For those who do not know, his generous donation was a huge reason that the new building was able to be completed. He flew all the way from Hong Kong to attend this ceremony.

“Every year the Advancement Department hosts many guests and benefactors, but Monday’s event was a special acknowledgement of a particularly large gift for a specific project from Mr. Salata,” Mr. Pituch said. “The visit and event was very nice. Guests included a variety of benefactors of the school, members of the Board of Directors, representatives of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and Bishop Persico.  Mr. Salata received a full tour of the building from Mr. Smith and members of administration prior to the presentation which featured a ceremonial ribbon cutting and several gifts for the Mr. Salata and his mother, who accompanied him on his visit.”

As part of Cathedral Prep’s thanks to him special gifts were made for him. To help with this alumni and current faculty were enlisted to help.

“Mr. Salata was presented with some special gifts during his visit, too,” said Mrs. Whitman, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications. “The first was an original water color painting of the Salata Technology & Innovation Center, created by local artist and 2013 graduate of Villa Maria Academy, Helen Tullio ’13 VMA. The second was a laser etching of the Salata Technology & Innovation Center created in the STEAM Center by faculty member Mr. Doug Vicary. Also, student council co-presidents, Will McBrier and Kyan Snider-Mills, spoke at the event about their appreciation, on behalf of all the students, for the support of Mr. Salata and all the donors who contributed to the construction and renovation project.”

That appreciation is mirrored by a topic that kept coming up. The  relationships that are built within the walls of Cathedral Prep, now the walls that Mr. Salata helped build.

“Having the opportunity to listen to Mr. Salata’s visions for the Technology and Innovation Center was eye-opening,” said student council co-president Will McBrier.“Witnessing the family-like relationships born out of this school that were expressed by the class of ’84, brings joy to my life knowing I will one day have that. Prep has been life-changing for others, and it has been life-changing for myself. I could not imagine spending the best four years of my life anywhere else.”

Another theme of the event was the impact Prep had on Mr. Salata’s education, which was a large part of why he gave back to his alma mater.

“My mother wanted to me to get the best education possible in Erie, and she thought that Cathedral Prep was the place for me, so she really insisted that we save up enough money to go here rather than the free public schools,” Mr. Salata said. “No doubt that education has made a huge difference in my life, and it is my sincere hope that our donation of this new facility will do the same for many others.”

Overall, this great event can be summarized by this quote.

“Jean Salata’s story is inspiring for so many reasons, said Mrs. Eddy, Vice President of Development and External Affairs. “He was a typical Prep student who climbed the ladder of success. As successful as he now is, he never once forgot his roots. Mr. Salata said it best the night of the dedication, ‘One of my favorite quotes is from the singer Edith Piaf who once said, if you have been lucky enough to get to the top floor, don’t forget to send the elevator down for someone else.’ Jean Salata has lived by these words. The Salata Technology & Innovation Center leads us boldly into the future with all the new offerings at the school and in the STEAM Center, including esports, robotics, engineering, cybersecurity, design & fabrication, TV/video production, the music, visual, and performing arts space with a dance studio, and renovated spaces for visual arts. Cathedral Preparatory School will continue to be one of the premier college preparatory schools in the country. None of this could have been possible without the incredible generosity of Jean Salata and his family. For this, we are eternally grateful.”