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Saint Joseph Hill AcademyUnder the Direction of the Daughters of Divine Charity

Summum Bonum Newsletter: Hill Alumnus Donates New Sound and Lighting System to SJHA

When Mr. Lawrence Hansen, Elementary School principal received an unexpected visit from alumnus Peter J. Shudtz (E ’62), accompanied by Sister William, he never expected that the school would soon be able to realize its longstanding wish for a new sound and lighting system for the Academy.  Mr. Shudtz, or Pete as he prefers to be called, was visiting from his home in Richmond, Virginia and he asked Sister William if he could visit his alma mater and see how it had changed since his time as a student there.


Upon entering the auditorium, Pete was introduced to students who were in rehearsal for that evening’s theatrical production of Aladdin and the children excitedly told Mr. Shudtz about Hill’s new theater program. The students spoke about how much they were enjoying the new theater program and how much they welcomed the opportunity to perform.  Pete was quite impressed by the enthusiasm of the students and commented on how polite they were and how proud they appeared to be of the school they loved. 


Moved by his visit and impressed by his alma mater, Mr. Shudtz expressed an interest in supporting the school in a way that was meaningful to the students. Mr. Hansen did not hesitate.  He knew that the school was in dire need of a new sound and lighting system. He explained to Mr. Shudtz that the school’s current system was outdated and not working properly. Critically needed for use in the auditorium for school masses, prayer services, plays, assemblies and other large events, the old system would suffer from periodic glitches and at times shut down in the middle of the event.  Unfortunately, the school would have to continuously rent equipment and there were times when the events had to proceed with no sound at all.   Mr. Shudtz decided to help and he offered to make a generous donation to cover the cost of a full sound and lighting system for the Academy.               


When asked about how the school will benefit from this new gift, Mr. Hansen said, “This new addition gives us the opportunity to continue to support the students in their faith so that we can hold masses and prayer services without difficulty and we can continue to expand our plays and performances.” The new sound and lighting equipment is a welcome addition to the High School as well. According to Mrs. Molluzzo, “Mr. Schudtz's generous donation of a sound and lighting system benefits the high school as well as the elementary school. Not only does his gift support the performing arts at St. Joseph Hill Academy, but it enhances the spiritual, academic, and social aspects of life at the Academy by improving sound and lighting for our Masses, prayer services, assemblies, and events such as our Honor Society Inductions and traditional Harvest Happening and Christmas Coffeehouse celebrations.”


An alumnus of St. Joseph Hill Academy and the Augustinian Academy, Peter J. Shudtz is the former Vice President and General Counsel of the CSX Corporation, where he also served as the Vice President of Federal Regulation and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs.  A member of the District of Columbia and Virginia Bar Associations, Pete received his B.A. and J.D. Degrees from Georgetown University.  He also received a M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University. Founded in 1978, the CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier, international freight transportation company.  In March, 2007 CSX entered into an agreement with Mayor Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Center, Norfolk Southern Railway and the Consolidated Rail Corporation to reactivate the Staten Island Railroad, an eight-mile railway that connects Staten Island to the national rail freight network. This project created a boost to the Staten Island economy by providing much needed direct rail access to additional ports and businesses. At the time, Mr. Shudtz commented, "It is an honor to be here celebrating the return of railroad service to Staten Island where we will help improve the quality of daily life, drive growth at the port and create a cleaner environment.”  Although retired, Mr. Shudtz continues as President of the Staten Island Railroad, serving at the request of CSX.


When questioned about why this gift was so important to Mr. Shudtz he stated, “I enjoyed my days at St. Joseph Hill Academy. Thanks to Sister Williams’ invitation, I was able to visit my old classrooms and, more importantly, to experience the enthusiasm of so many students. I was happy to support my school, and to honor the memory of my parents Ursula and Charles with this donation.”


On behalf of all the students at St. Joseph Hill, thank you so much Mr. Shudtz for your outstanding generosity!  Your gift means a great deal to our students, their families, and the entire school community.



If you are interested in learning about how you can support St. Joseph Hill Academy,

please contact Dr. Elizabeth Basile, or call 718-447-1374, Ext. 9163.