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BC High announces $75 million fund-raising campaign

Boston College High School in Dorchester is announcing a $75 million fund-raising campaign to coincide with its 150th anniversary, with a goal of meeting 100 percent of the financial need of all qualified students.

Since 2011, the Jesuit college-preparatory school, which educates students in seventh through 12th grade, has been working quietly to raise funds and has amassed $50.7 million so far. On Sunday, as the school celebrates its anniversary at a Symphony Hall gala, it will unveil the public component to its 150th Anniversary Campaign.

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The money will go toward ensuring that students who apply and are accepted to the school can attend, regardless of their financial background, school officials say.

“We don’t want students to not be able to attend because they can’t afford it,” said Michele O’Connor Daly, senior vice president for institutional advancement.

The school is also expected to unveil the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Scholarship on Sunday. The $2 million endowment will specifically serve students from the city of Boston who wish to attend the school but who lack the financial resources. Tuition at the Columbia Point school is $17,400 a year.

“I am honored that BC High is recognizing my desire for academically qualified boys to be able to attend a school like BC High,” Menino said in a statement. “The cost should no longer be a barrier for boys who want to pursue this unique education that is available in our city.”

School officials said the new scholarship and the campaign will not only be a big boost for needy students, but also benefit other pupils by better connecting them with students from a variety of backgrounds.

“We want to make sure our student body is diverse and this is part of that,” O’Connor Daly said. “Not every student comes to Boston College High School from the city, but they leave as students of the city.”

Jennifer Tegan, director of marketing and communications for the school, said BC High expects to complete the fund-raising campaign by 2016.

Originally founded in the South End in 1863, the school serves about 1,600 students from 140 Massachusetts communities.

The school distributed more than $4.8 million in financial aid for the 2012-2013 school year. About 35 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, the school says.

Patrick D. Rosso can be reached at patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @PDRosso
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