Legend Howard Rudloff continues to donate to Marian after 50 years

By J1 Reporter Mia Butler

Marian’s annual tradition of Walk-A-Thon prevails another year, raising a successful $120,000, to fund tuition assistance. Donations flood in from all types of ways and all types of people. Some of the donations were contributed by first time donors, seeking to help the cause for the first time, and others came from perpetual donors, like Mr. Howard Rudloff. 

Kenadie Rudloff and her great grandfather, Howard Rudloff. Photo courtesy of Kenadie Rudloff.

Rudloff has been a prime donor for Marian for more than 50 years and continuously shares his time and money selflessly with the Marian community. 

Rudloff became involved in the community in 1968 when his first daughter attended the high school, and has since had six daughters and eight granddaughters, and now one great-granddaughter attend Marian. 

However, his connections and love for Marian began from prior years in his high school days; Marian’s founders, The Servants of Mary, worked at his high school, Holy Name, concurrently as teachers and nuns. The Servants of Mary had an immense and lasting impact on Rudloff way beyond his four years of high school. In respect for them, he began to donate his resources of time, money and fundraising skills in their name, in numerous ways.

Rudloff successfully raised money to build the original wooden bleachers featured in the east gym by fundraising and donating his own funds too. He also is responsible for the original soccer field; Initially, the soccer field had been a drainage lake that served little purpose to Marian’s campus. Rudloff rallied to gain the money through donors to fill the lake with dirt and create the first Marian soccer field for the young athletes of the school. He also worked with the general manager of Coca-Cola to place the first scoreboard, and raised money for the athletic cheer mats.

Rudloff also can be credited for implementing Marian’s infamous and beloved mascot “Crusaders,” after suggesting it to the Servants of Mary, and winning a popular vote. Rudloff says he assists Marian because “Catholic schools have to do whatever they can to stay in existence” and “because we have to support Catholic education.” 

With this selfless mentality and affection for the school, Rudloff continues to donate in honor of his family and for his strong belief in a Catholic education. 

Current junior Kenadie Rudloff is Howard’s first great granddaughter, and says that “he’s a sucker for donating.” Kenadie is an additional, current reason he actively donates. Rudloff appreciates the community which his great granddaughters is surrounded by and the education Marian enriches her with, and never misses an opportunity to “write her a check.”

Without Rudloff’s generous help, Marian would not have been able to obtain the donations that helped improve the lives of Marian students. The staff and student body can all recognize the incredible effects his contributions have on the school and acknowledge that they create a tight community. 

“You can go into Marian and see that it is all one big family,” Rudloff said. 

His dedication to the Servants of Mary, his family, and Marian overall are not overseen. They are well appreciated by the current families and staff, as well as those he positively impacts with his donations to Walk-A-Thon. Howard Rudloff is a legend of a donor that Marian everlastingly thanks. 

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