Fusco makes $5 million commitment to Ursuline Academy

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Ursuline Academy, an independent, Catholic, college preparatory school for students from early childhood through 12th grade, received
a $5 million commitment from Anthony N. Fusco Sr., a Delaware real estate developer. A release stated that this gift is the largest in Ursuline’s 130-year history and will have a widespread impact across the academy.

“Mr. Fusco’s extraordinary generosity has not only propelled Ursuline Academy’s facilities and programs forward by decades but has also left an indelible mark on the athletic landscape. This transformative gift will elevate our athletic facilities to unprecedented
heights, matching the caliber of our exceptional student-athletes. The Anthony N. Fusco Sr. Fitness & Health Center is a testament to his rare gem of philanthropy, enriching the Ursuline community and the region with a student population drawing from Delaware,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. We eagerly anticipate the ribbon-cutting ceremony, celebrating this remarkable transformation with gratitude for Mr. Fusco’s enduring commitment,” said Anthony Pullella, Ursuline Academy’s Director of Operation

The release noted that the commitment will also anchor a comprehensive campaign to support Ursuline Academy’s Blaze Brighter Strategic Plan, launch needed facility improvements across campus, and further enhance the academy’s financial stability through endowment and annual fund growth. Ursuline Academy hopes Fusco’s legacy will inspire many others throughout the community to contribute to this
effort

“I have been around Delaware for a long time and remember Ursuline Academy from my youth. Ursuline is a place with a profound athletic legacy producing top-notch athletes at the collegiate and professional levels as well as leaders in our community. It is an honor
to be a part of the transformation of the Ursuline athletic facilities into a state-of-the-art fitness and health center that is parallel to the caliber of Ursuline’s outstanding athletic program,” Fusco said. “Small but mighty, the Ursuline sisterhood is competitive, athletic, and unique. My hope is this gift can support the school’s athletes and physical wellness programs in ways that impact the girls not only during their days at Ursuline but in the many years that follow. I am proud to make this donation to benefit Ursuline students for many
generations to come”

Anthony Fusco, a self-made businessman whose family came over from Italy when he was three years old, started with a seasonal Italian water ice storefront on Union Street in Wilmington’s Little Italy neighborhood. His company, Fusco Management, has become a large real estate and management company in New Castle County.
Ursuline has

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Fusco was connected to Ursuline through his granddaughter, Picara Vassalo, class of 1997, and has a long history of supporting the academy through academic advancement and community projects. He provided the lead commitment to transform Ursuline’s convent into the Anthony N. Fusco Sr. Student Life Center – a project completed in 2019 that became the centerpiece of the middle and upper school community. Fusco and his family’s foundation have also supported Ursuline’s financial literacy programs and students receiving tuition assistance at Ursuline.

Ursuline Academy’s athletic legacy dates back to the turn of the century in 1900 when the athletic program was founded. It was one of the first organized high school athletic programs specifically for women in the United States.

Since then, Ursuline established a tradition of Valeria ‘Val’ Whiting, Class of 1989, was the first Delaware athlete to play in professional basketball after starring at Stanford University Elena Delle Donne, Class of 2008, was a University of Delaware standout who went on the WNBA and the Olympics.

Another academy alumna is actress, comedian, producer, and children’s author Aubry Plaza.

Recognized by USA Today as a Top Athletic Girls High School in Delaware, Ursuline teams and athletes have won 65 state championships, 82 Catholic Conference Titles, and 11 state Gatorade Players of the Year honors.

Eighty-six percent of Upper School students play a varsity sport at Ursuline. In 2023, eight Ursuline athletes committed to a Division I, II, or III college sports, and the class earned over $11 million in scholarships and grants for academics and athletic achievements. This is from a school with an Upper School enrollment of 220.

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