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ABOUT US: A substantial endowment fund generating interest income dedicated exclusively to pay for academic scholarships at Archbishop Shaw High School is the far-reaching, farsighted goal of EXCELSIOR ‘86, a sophisticated long-range project of Shaw Class of 1986 alumni. “Our plan is to provide our alma mater with an array of endowed scholarships – like some of the older Catholic high schools in our area already have – to make quality academic and spiritual education in the Salesian tradition affordable for a large number of deserving young men of our Westbank community who might not otherwise be able to afford a Shaw education,” said Keith Bergeron ‘86, a leader of the effort.

Lawyers, businessmen and financial professionals of the Class of ‘86 have pooled their areas of expertise and formally organized and established EXCELSIOR ‘86 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. The goal of its various fund-raising activities is to generate a $250,000 fund per scholarship and to duplicate that amount as many times as possible over a sustained period of time into the distant future. Spearheaded by retired U.S. Army Col. Pat Cortez, Bergeron, Troy DePriest and Doug Hernandez, all graduates of the Class of 1986, the group intends to award its first substantial scholarships when it has accumulated a sufficient amount through start-up donations and fund-raising efforts, like last fall’s red beans and rice dinner.

The group’s principal present source of funding for its scholarship endowment is a weekly bingo every Friday night at the Azalea Bingo Hall, 925 Parc Helene Drive in Marrero, at its intersection with the Westbank Expressway near Westwood Drive. The fully-licensed and contractually arranged bingo night has been coordinated between EXCELSIOR ‘86 and Terry Camardelle, the Azalea owner, who is a Westbank businessman devoted to the betterment of his community. EXCELSIOR ‘86 nights at Azalea are staffed by paid workers supplemented by volunteer alumni members and who give their time and energy for this ambitious effort.

“The cost of a quality Catholic education is substantial,” said Troy DePriest ‘86, one of the group’s leaders. “That cost can be a real financial challenge for the middle class families of the Westbank who want to send their sons to Shaw for an academically excellent, spirituality-based and well-rounded educational experience. Through EXCELSIOR ‘86, we hope to help the hard-working people of our community meet that challenge, while providing Shaw with young men who will sustain our school and become our leaders and contributors in the future.”Contact Troy DePriest at 504-491-3904 to join the Eagle alumni of EXCELSIOR ‘86 by volunteering to work at Azalea on our Friday bingo nights, enjoying some games of bingo yourself or by making your donations directly to the effort through the EXCELSIOR ‘86 501(c)(3).  

(intersection of Westbank Expresswaynear Westwood Drive)



Two $500 scholarships to Archbishop Shaw High School funded by initial donations to the Excelsior ‘86 501(c)(3) will be awarded to 2020-21 Shaw eighth-graders incoming from  Immaculate Conception School in Marrero, one of our alma mater’s traditional feeder schools. The names of the scholarship winners will be announced in May 2020 and printed in this space.

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A fund-raising dinner with jambalaya and/or red beans and rice prepared by Chef Doug Hernandez ‘86 will be sponsored by Excelsior ‘86 and held on the Shaw Campus on a coming to-be-announced date. Proceeds from the dinner will be shared and split evenly between a Shaw student activities club to be selected and the Excelsior ‘86 scholarships endowment fund.   

4:00 P.M. TIL 10:00 P.M. 

"Covid 19 permitting"