July 12, 2016

Announcing the Ethel Mae Hocker Information Commons. A $1.2 million project which will transform the existing Camden Catholic High School Library into a place where students can exchange ideas and collaborate on academic projects.  

Click Here to contribute to this historic advancement for Camden Catholic High School!

Please select "Campaign for the Future" under "Designations."

The Commons will accommodate a large classroom space, several smaller meeting areas, presentation areas, and individual quiet nooks. This transformation reflects an international shift in the use of library spaces. Libraries were traditionally built for learning and research space and although this style of learning was amenable to past generations of students, businesses today are looking for critical thinkers, problem solvers, and collaborative learners. The trustees and administration recognize this shift, and through the campaign plan, are organizing this to happen in the renovated library. This is the second capital project in the $6 million Campaign for the Future, launched in 2013 ($2 million for the Annual Fund; $2 million for scholarship and $2 million for capital projects).  

In 2014 the first capital project was initiated, the renovation of the cafeteria into the John Pisa Dining Hall. Dedicated in February 2015 (below Mr. Pisa with Bishop Sullivan, President Whipkey and Principal Crisci), the Pisa Dining Hall is now a mark of pride for our students. It is a clean, contemporary and friendly space which is home to everything from daily meals to class reunions.  Mr. Pisa ’74 gave back to his alma mater in order to provide space in which students can build community and friendships, and they are doing just that.  

The Ethel Mae Hocker Foundation is a loyal and supportive partner to Camden Catholic High School through the kindness of the Hocker family: Rich, his wife Martha, daughter Kirsten, and her husband Paul Mason ’98. They have sponsored numerous scholarship students at Camden Catholic since 2008. The Hockers know the importance of a quality 21st Century education and the need for educational advancement for the success of students. Their generous support of the campaign has allowed for the Information Commons initiative to gain momentum and become reality.

The $1.2 million project will be completed in two phases.  Phase 1: summer 2016, includes wall demolition, installation of new electrical systems to support enhanced technology, new lighting, acoustic panels, and air conditioning. Phase 2: summer 2017, includes new windows, furniture, media equipment, and finishing touches to enhance the space. The new footprint also includes space previously occupied by an adjacent classroom and computer lab (formerly Home Economics rooms).

One of the highlights of Phase I will be the construction of the Msgr. Bob McDermott '60 Collaborative Learning Center, a classroom fitted with computers for all students and audio-visual equipment to enhance the critical thinking experience.  Teachers will use this space for collaborative and active learning to promote student-driven discovery, inquiry, and innovation. Msgr. McDermott is one of Camden Catholic's most proud and consistent champions and a Catholic school educator himself. He is an exemplary alumnus who continues to live by the Camden Catholic ideals of Honor, Faith and Loyalty.  

The plan for the 2016-2017 school year is to re-purpose the current furniture until funds become available through donations and pledge payments to purchase new furniture in Phase 2. The CCHS Parents Association, CCHS Student Government, and the Class of 2016 have been gracious to donate $25,000 toward the purchase of the librarian’s new help desk and various other furniture.  We are currently asking legacy families for donations to help purchase sections of furniture, as well as asking reunion groups to make a donation in the name of their class to help with these purchases. Donations in honor of or in memory of loved ones are also accepted and are a lasting way to remember them. 

Please contact the Advancement Office at 856-663-2247 ext. 133 for more information or with questions regarding how to join the project.

You can also CLICK HERE to contribute to this historic advancement for Camden Catholic High School!

Please select "Campaign for the Future" under "Designations."