St. Mary's Academy (Downtown)
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News Release
Sophia, St. Mary's Academy Class of 2022
Sophia, St. Mary's Academy Class of 2022
St. Mary's Academy Dares to Dream as Community Raises over $850,000 (Photo) - 04/22/21

Portland, Ore. – St. Mary’s Academy dared its community of supporters to dream big, and they rose to the challenge, generously raising $851,000 for the all-girls, Catholic, college-prep high school.

On Saturday, April 17, 2021, guests gathered virtually to support the young women of St. Mary’s Academy at the 33rd annual auction, Dare to Dream.  Guests from across the country joined the live, webcasted event for an hour and a half of entertainment, touching testimonials, and bidding on fabulous auction packages, including a 10-day trip to Molokai, Hawaii, a sailing experience on America’s Cup yacht in San Diego and a private dinner for 8 at Cellar Z at Zupan’s Market.

Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, Vice President for Development, shared her thoughts following this year’s event.  “We couldn’t be more thankful to our community of supporters who stepped up in ways unimagined to support the young women of St. Mary’s Academy.  In the midst of an incredibly challenging year for our city, our country and our world, they confirmed their commitment and belief in the power of an all-girls education.  We are thrilled to be able to continue making St. Mary’s Academy accessible for any young woman, regardless of their financial situation, and are so proud to be graduating the future women leaders of tomorrow.”

The webcasted event was co-hosted by Cathy Marshall, Managing Editor and former news anchor for KGW Newschannel 8 and Greg Bell, longtime Oregonian, author, motivational speaker and father to Sofia ‘23, a current St. Mary’s student.

This year’s four auction co-chairs were all St. Mary’s Academy dads. In addition to Bell, the co-chairs included Tom Fink, past parent to three St. Mary’s alumnae:  Amy ’95, Jeani ’97 and Molly ’99 and current member of the St. Mary’s Board of Directors; Greg Meyer, parent to current student Avery ’24; and Hayden Thomas, past parent to Claire ’04 and Lauren ’07 and current Board member.

Thomas shares his inspiration for being involved in this year’s event.  “St. Mary’s has a long history of excellence, and I am always proud to say my daughters went to school there.  What I admire most about SMA is the focus on the growth and development of young women.  St. Mary’s is an institution that serves their mission so well and has done so from the very beginning.  Annually, the auction is one of St. Mary’s signature events.  It is not only a critical fundraiser but a joyful celebration of the SMA community, and I feel privileged to be involved in this year’s event.”

During the live event, current students shared how St. Mary’s has dared them to dream.  Liana, class of 2023 shared, “St. Mary’s dares me to dream by challenging me to be my best self.”  Sophia, class of 2022, shared, “St. Mary’s dares me to dream by inspiring me to pursue my passions and giving me the resources to grow into a responsible leader.”  And, Rose, class of 2023, shared, “St. Mary’s dares me to dream by teaching me to be a decisive, strong young woman.”

The live event was preceded by a week-long silent auction with over 250 packages available for bidding. Additionally, St. Mary’s again held its much anticipated raffles for both a 2020 Range Rover Evoque S and a $5,000 travel gift certificate.  Participants could also purchase tickets for a “Golden Ticket”, allowing the winner to select their choice of any of the live auction packages.  This year’s Golden Ticket winner was Marcy Moore Forman ’67 and she selected an Italian Dinner for 8 with wine pairings in a location of her choosing.  Upon learning she held the winning ticket, she exclaimed, “Wow, that is so great! Now I have to figure out how to whittle down my guest list!”  Forman is a St. Mary’s Academy alumna, and her granddaughter will be joining St. Mary’s as a freshman in the fall.


Located in the heart of downtown Portland, OR, St. Mary's Academy is the state's oldest continuously-operating school and only all-girls school. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary's Academy serves 680 young women in grades 9-12. The school's college acceptance rate is 100% and SMA students achieve, excel and are recognized locally, regionally and nationally in academic fields, leadership, STEM, the arts, athletics, community service and extra- and co-curricular activities.