St. Monica Academy’s Havana Nights Raises Funds for Classical Education and Honors Treasurer of the Board Khushro Ghandhi

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STAFF REPORT

1:39 pm | April 8, 2019


On Saturday, March 30, St. Monica Academy friends, parents, and benefactors attended the Havana Nights Gala to raise funds to support the school’s classical, Catholic education. The event was held at the Pasadena Hilton and included silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing, and live Cuban music from Candi Sosa & Friends.

Due to the generosity of the SMA community, the event brought in $300,000, including a $192,000 Cash Call. Proceeds benefit the school’s annual operations, including scholarships.

A moving and proud moment was when SMA alumnus and faculty member Soli Ghandhi introduced and presented his father and Treasurer of the Board, Khushro Ghandhi, with this year’s Ostia Award. As he accepted the award, Mr. Ghandhi eloquently conveyed his gratefulness to the school for being such a special gift to him and his family.

Ghandhi has been serving as SMA’s Treasurer of the Board since 2007. Below is the Ostia Award tribute as it appeared in the Auction program.

By day, Khushro runs an accounting firm serving small businesses. He has served on our Board of Directors for 12 years, five of those years following the graduation of his son. He donates generously and has inspired others to follow his lead. He reads widely and deeply from the classics of philosophy, history, economics, and Christian apologetics, and has brought their riches and rigor to the deliberations of SMA’s Curriculum Committee, which defines and refines what our students are taught. Most recently he has “contributed” his son Soli to our faculty (along with his daughter-in-law Rachel Arnall Ghandhi).

Khushro’s biographical trajectory began in a different direction. His ancestors were the “Parsi” minority of India, who fled Muslim persecution in Iran in order to follow their Zoroastrian faith. In America Khushro was raised in a family environment that was atheistic. At Swarthmore College in the 1960s, he became a Marxist and joined the radical “Students for a Democratic Society.” But he also studied philosophy and mathematical logic. Mathematics proved to him the existence of non-material truths.

Spinoza’s Ethics persuaded him that one could rationally believe in God. The “set theory” of Cantor awakened his mind to the wonder and mystery of infinity. Khushro found himself thinking more and more about God and the infinite. During the Seventies he came to the realization that economic prosperity was best achieved by American-style capitalism. By 1979 he became a supporter of Ronald Reagan. He started working as a political consultant on economic and nationalsecurity issues. He returned to graduate school in 1994 and obtained an MBA and an MS in Accountancy, which has been his field since.

The arrival of his first child prompted Khushro to deepen his search for God. He began praying and reading the Bible to Soli, later attending the closest Episcopal church. The anti-Christianity of public schools led Khushro to look for an alternative, and in SMA he found kindred spirits. Already he and Soli had been reading aloud some of the classical literature in our curriculum. Soli enrolled, and Khushro was quickly recognized as a classics scholar and recruited to the Curriculum Committee. In 2007 he joined the Board of Directors. Keen thinking, articulate arguments, and zeal for SMA’s Catholicity and classicism have been the hallmarks of Khushro’s board advocacy. His reasoning has always opened eyes, even when it didn’t win the day. The Catholic conversion of Khushro’s son Soli was movingly portrayed in a video at our auction two years ago. And given Khushro’s generosity, love for Christ, human virtue and penetrating mind, we have every expectation of one day saying (as we are now praying), “Like son, like father!”

Each day at Morning Assembly, our students pray, sing patriotic songs, and then are exhorted to “Go forth and be excellent!” Khushro Ghandhi’s vigilance, erudition, courage, and generosity have helped ensure that our excellence is ever rising. We thank him profoundly with the 2019 Ostia Award.

St. Monica Academy, an independent, Catholic, coeducational school for grades 1-12, is at the forefront of a renaissance in classical education, a time-honored method of teaching that inspires students to excel academically and morally. Founded by parents in 2001, the school provides 275 students in grades 1-12 with an academically rigorous education using a classical curriculum.

St. Monica Academy, grades 1-12, 2361 Del Mar Rd, Montrose CA 91020, (818) 369-7310 or visit www.stmonicaacademy.com.