Harrisburg graduate donates $100K for school needs - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Harrisburg graduate donates $100K for school needs

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HARRISBURG -- School leaders and parents are excited about new funds that will help put resources in the new science wing at Harrisburg High School.

After getting approval from the school board, Harrisburg Unit 3 School Superintendent Mike Gauch sent letters out to some alumni asking for help. Then he got a surprise from a graduate who went on to become a CEO.

“He wrote a check bigger than I’ve ever seen, and I never met him,” Gauch said. “Two weeks after I sent out the first letter, Mr. Paul Jones, a graduate of 1966 here in Harrisburg, sent me a letter and said he would be willing to donate $100,000 to have the science wing named in his honor.”

School leaders said the money will go toward funding high-tech equipment like new microscopes that they said are long over-due.

“We were going to walk into a brand new building and bring 30-40 year old supplies into the building,” Gauch said. 

But Harrisburg school leaders said that will all change thanks to support from alumni.

“Their community is in need, they step up and they do what’s needed,” Gauch said, adding others graduates are donating too.

Both school leaders and parents alike look forward to the impacts the new equipment will have on the youth in their community.

“It’s going to help all the kids, just being able to have chemicals that work, this new equipment and be able to do all these experiments and just learn so much," said Jonathan Russell, a Harrisburg parent and school board member.

School leaders anticipate students can start using the brand new science wing with all the new equipment inside this fall. They will also recognize a handful of donors at an open house in August.

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