Daniel Pugel on the Joy of Supporting Jesuit Education in Seattle

Seattle Prep Is Uniquely Able to Help Every Student Succeed, Daniel Pugel Says

Retired financial advisor and supporter of good causes Daniel Pugel contributes to several charities in western Washington, but he is especially impressed with the return on his giving to Seattle Prep. The difference Seattle Prep makes in educational outcomes for its students has a lot to do with The Learning Resource Center, Daniel Pugel says.

What Is Seattle Prep?

The Seattle Preparatory School is a Jesuit institution that has been offering coed education since 1891. Cofounders Father Victor Garrand, SJ, and Father Adrian Sweere, SJ, launched the new school with great hope for the future. 

“Our students are the children of adventurers from all over the world,” Father Victor said. “Not even ancient Rome served a greater diversity of students than this.”

From its earliest days, Seattle Prep expected students to master the traditional Jesuit curriculum following the Ratio Studiorum, a rigorous progression of studies established by the Society of Jesus in the late 1500s that included Latin, Greek, science, math, literature, and religion.

Even today, Seattle Prep nurtures the ability of its students to analyze, reflect, and grapple with ideas. Instruction at Seattle Prep isn’t all about learning facts. It teaches its students to see the interconnections between ideas so they will leave the school ready to provide leadership in their city, state, and country.

For Daniel Pugel, The Learning Resource Center Is Where Seattle Prep’s Mission Comes Alive

Hidden in the corner of the top floor of McDonnell Hall is The Learning Resource Center, where, Daniel Pugel says, the mission of Seattle Prep comes alive every day.

The Learning Resource Center provides a safe space for learning for students diagnosed with learning disabilities. “Sacred, loving, and supportive of growth describe what happens there,” Pugel says.

In the 1990s, school psychologist Regina Melonson started The Learning Resource Center as a place to help 12 students study for their high school entrance exams. Nowadays, The Learning Center exists as a place for students who need extra help to begin boosting their abilities to learn in eighth grade and continues to provide that extra help through their senior year.

Student Outcomes That Reward Daniel Pugel’s Gift Many Times Over

Regina Melonson is still with The Learning Resource Center, which now helps 145 students, not just 12. She leads a team of dedicated educators who treat their learners with respect and care while constantly raising the bar to keep them challenged.

The Learning Resource Center has many success stories.

Natalie Wong ’14, for example, went on to earn a degree in psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. She says, “The teachers at The Learning Resource Center inspired me. They do so much and ask nothing in return. They are a model for what I want to become in my professional life.”

Alex Smith ’15 credits The Learning Center with his success in college. “I was always afraid to speak up in class,” Alex says, “but the teachers at The Learning Resource Center taught me that it is OK to ask for help to succeed.”

Daniel Pugel supports many charities besides Seattle Prep. But the success stories coming from Seattle’s only Jesuit high school inspired him to give even more.