The Foundation was formed in 2005 to serve as the philanthropic arm of the Billings Catholic Schools, to encompass the Billings Area Catholic Education Trust (BACET LLC), and to organize special events benefiting the Billings Catholic Schools.
The Billings Catholic Schools Foundation is dedicated to fostering the continued success and enrichment of the Billings Catholic Schools by providing and increasing an endowment and overseeing all fundraising efforts to ensure financial stability and support.
From the first class of Billings Central Catholic grads in 1948 – to the dozens of new alumni who graduate each year – we celebrate our alumni.
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Billings Catholic Schools keeps the cost of tuition affordable so that a Catholic education is attainable for every student.
215 North 31st Street
PO Box 31158
Billings, MT 59107-1158
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Ruben Day, an immigrant and Billings Central graduate of 1954. During his elementary years, his family could not afford to send Ruben to Kate Fratt Memorial School. In attending St. Patrick’s church, Fr. Richard Hopkins took Ruben under his wing. Knowing of Ruben’s wish to attend a Catholic school, Fr. Hopkins paid the $25 tuition fee! Attending Billings Catholic Schools was a life changing formation for Ruben. In gratitude, he gave back to the schools: He helped to establish the Billings Area Catholic Education Trust, Mayfair, and the Search program. He was an active Rotarian. He mentored many young professionals in their careers! In furthering Ruben’s legacy, a humble man with a deep faith, his children established the Viva Cristo Rey Scholarship to provide for a student, in the same way Fr. Hopkins did for Ruben.
This endowed scholarship provides $4,000 to a St. Francis student, who could not otherwise afford Catholic schools, annually.
George Ulrickson met Kay Olmstead playing bingo at St. Philomena’s Catholic Church in Denver, CO. While Kay had intentions on becoming a nun, George made his intentions known to Kay! They married in 1941. During World War II, George’s welding abilities were put to good use by the Navy building destroyers in Orange, Texas. With a desire to leave Texas, they landed in Billings for a welding position at Exxon Mobil. While never financially secure yet strong in their faith, George and Kay made certain that all 10 of their children attended a Catholic school. Each one of the Ulrickson children enrolled at Kate Fratt Memorial School through 8th grade and then graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School. By 1972, Kay took up a position working at Billings Central as school secretary, a perfect position for her to take care of her kids while helping to offset the cost of tuition. Sadly, and quite unexpectedly, George passed away in 1976. With one child still in high school, Kay was ever resolute even during an exceptionally difficult time. Her last child graduated from Billings Central in 1978. Afterward, Kay became the secretary of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. Hers was a welcoming face to all who encountered her. Kay passed into eternal life in 2002. The George and Kay Ulrickson Memorial Scholarship honors their legacy by providing scholarships to single parents and those experiencing a difficult time yet have a deep desire to send their kids to our Billings Catholic Schools.
This endowed scholarship provides $2,500 annually to a single parent or experiencing a difficult time and in need.”
1st Lt. Paul Magers graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School in 1963. Paul was adventurous, enjoying fast cars, motorcycles, hiking, and climbing. Nothing was too hard for Paul. He Married Beverly Mohatt on Dec. 27 1969. In that same year, Paul entered the military and became a helicopter pilot. On May 12, 1971, Paul was ordered to Vietnam where we served. On June 1, less than two weeks into the country, Lt. Magers flew a mission to rescue Army Rangers near the town of Dong Tri. As he lowered the helicopter, enemy fire hit the underside of his aircraft, causing a fuel leak that ignited. For 39 years, Lt. Magers was missing in action. In 2009, a Vietnamese excavation team discovered his remains. Lt. Magers was brought home and laid to rest August 27, 2010 at Yellowstone National Cemetery. In an outpouring of support at the discovery of his remains, the Paul Magers Memorial Scholarship was established in his memory.
This endowed scholarship provides $700 annually
Fr. Steve, as he was affectionately known amongst his flock, was a Billings Central graduate of the legendary Class of 1961. An outstanding athlete in his day, he avidly ran marathons and with the Billings Central Cross Country team until his passing. Ordained a priest in 1969, Fr. Steve demonstrated his special talents in every parishioner and church he pastored. His compassion was always genuine, his love for other unbounded. Through his collective efforts, he transformed St. Leo’s in Lewistown and built from the ground up St. Pius X Catholic Church. He remained a loyal friend of our Billings Catholic Schools his whole life, serving in various capacities as volunteer, teacher, donor, and board member. For many years, Fr. Steve was the spiritual Father of our Billings Catholic Schools. As many said of him, Fr. Steve was smart, knowledgeable, and wise, a rare trinity of intellect in one man. Upon his death from cancer at too young of age, an outpouring of grief from the community established the Rev. Stephen Tokarski Memorial Scholarship to benefit school age children to attend St. Francis Catholic School. 12 years later, the people of St. Pius X Catholic Parish continue to give over $10,000 annually to increase its impact.
This endowed scholarship provides 8 scholarships annually.
From the age of 13, Dorothy Mary Porter worked: first at a community newspaper, and then packed chocolates in a candy factory in Chicago. At the outset of World War II at the age of 16, she worked in armatures at a defense plant. Why? To help pay for her private high school education at Immaculata High School, for her lessons in ballet, piano and trumpet, and to afford college at the College of St Teresa in Winona, Minn,.
Upon graduating with degrees in Foods and Nutrition, she worked in many hospitals and healthcare institutions in dietetics including: Cook County Hospital, Chicago’s Children’s Hospital, Saginaw General Hospital. Dorothy rose to Chief of Dietetic Services at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute.
Dorothy moved to Billings in 1971 as a food service officer as a Reservist in the United State Air Force, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Afterward, she served eight Native American Reservations in Montana through the Public Health Service, Indian Health Services. In 1976, Dorothy married Howard Porter, the president of the Billings Business College. Dorothy loved to travel, visiting all seven continents in her life.
Dorothy came to know our Billings Catholic Schools through her good friend and neighbor, Sister Valerie. Sister Valerie invited Dorothy to happenings at the school and meeting the students. Because of her friendship with Sister Valeria, Dorothy place BACET within her will to provide for the schools in perpetuity.
Mrs.Duffner, as she was known to her students, worked as the volunteer librarian at St. Pius X Catholic School for 30 years. She loved her students and her books. To her husband, Lowell, she was “Tiz.” Their 60 years of marriage is a testament to their love for each other and their family. Together, they had three children, Jan, Diane and Stan, all who attended our Catholic schools. In Tiz’s later years, with the onset of Alzehiemers, Lowell lovingly cared for his wife and ensured her care. After her passing in 2006, Mr. Duffner’s last words to bed every night until he died were, “Goodnight Tiz, I miss you, but I’m not ready yet. I’ve got too much to do down here.” Mr. Duffner entered into eternal life in 2014.
Mr. Duffner worked as an accountant, rising through the ranks until owning his own firm. He was recognized by the Montana Society of CPA’s and the American Institute of CPA’s in 1988 and awarded the George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award in 2011. Lowell’s warm humor, inquisitive nature, and genial disposition afforded him and Tiz many friends. Mr. Duffner’s modesty was always apparent – living in the same house on Colton Blvd, driving the same cars. As a man of deep faith, he took stewardship seriously. He loved Billings Catholic Schools. Without grandchildren himself, he felt all the students of Catholic schools were his grandkids. To care for his grandkids, Lowell contributed over $6,000,000 during his life towards establishing scholarships. Mr. and Mrs. Duffner’s spirit lives on through every student of Billings Catholic Schools.