His journey to Hendricken began on a whim…

Dan Connaughton graduated from Hendricken in 1992. He had very fond memories of his time as a member of the Jazz Fusion and Marching Bands and began a lifelong career in music after studying under Richard Price.

Dan saw that there was an Open House happening and he and his wife Karen thought it would be fun to check out the campus. Their son Sean was in seventh grade, so they took him along to see his dad’s old high school. Dan was blown away at the growth of the Fine Arts program and Sean loved the feel of the school and thought it would be cool to go to his dad’s alma mater. Sean, a gifted vocalist, grew up as a big part of an arts-centered family. He starred in a local production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was cast as “Young Scrooge” and “Peter” in Trinity Rep’s A Christmas Carol.

As a one income household, the Connaughton’s thought tuition would be out of reach, but they were given hope when they were told of the possibility of an Arts Scholarship. Naturally Sean auditioned. He sang “Danny Boy” and so impressed Mrs. Deborah Clift that she took a video of Sean singing and sent it to her husband. It was truly a “proud parent” moment, and the turning point as Sean received The Clift Family Arts Scholarship that made a Hendricken education affordable.

Dan noted “Sean’s journey to Hendricken began on a whim. At the time, he had no idea the opportunities that awaited him. As a four-year member of the Young Men’s Chorus, he has sung at Walt Disney World, in ancient churches in Ireland, in the cathedrals of Rome, and at Fenway Park! All of those experiences wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of The Clift Family Scholarship.”

Sean recently graduated at the top of his class and received a Centennial Scholarship for $24,000 (4 years) to attend URI as a biomedical engineering student in the fall.

That’s what The Clift Family has done to make a difference in the lives of our Hawks. What can you do to show you care? Please join us in changing lives. There are less than 2 weeks left in this school year to show your support.

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