New York Catholic Schools Receive $5.6 Million Gift

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has received a $5.6 million donation from retired hedge fund investor and atheist Robert Wilson, Bloomberg reports.

The gift will enable New York Catholic schools to participate in Wilson's Catholic Alumni Partnership program, which was launched with a $2.7 million grant in 2008 to help elementary schools track down their alumni and recruit them as donors.

Wilson, who donated $10,000 to the archdiocese in 1997, made his fortune as a growth-stock investor at his firm, Wilson Associates, where he worked until 1987 when he retired. To date, he has donated more than $550 million of his wealth to charity and plans on giving away 70 percent of it before he dies.

Although Wilson is a self-professed atheist, he believes in Catholic schools. "Most of what the Catholic schools teach are the three Rs [reading, writing and arithmetic]," Wilson told Bloomberg. "And they do it better than the union-controlled inner-city schools."

Patrick Cole. "Atheist Robert Wilson Gives N.Y. Catholic Schools $5.6 Million." Bloomberg.com 08/09/2010.