Buckhead couple Juanita and Jack Markwalter have received the Marist School’s highest honor, the St. Peter Chanel Award.
Named for the Marist saint martyred for his faith, the award honors those individuals whose selflessness, exceptional support, and dedicated leadership have advanced the mission of Marist in profound and fundamental ways. The Markwalters were jointly honored by the school during its annual St. Peter Chanel Society Recognition Celebration held Oct. 18 at the Atlanta History Center.
“Juanita and I are lifelong believers in the immense positive impact and importance of Catholic education,” Jack Markwalter said. “St. John Paul II told us that Catholic schools are the single greatest ministry of the Catholic church. Juanita and I have witnessed it firsthand with our own Catholic education and that of our sons. And for that, we are grateful … Other schools may have a sense of community and even of compassion, but our Catholic faith—centered in Christ—is what truly makes Marist special and unique. That’s what makes Marist, Marist. Another way to say it, Marist has a soul.”
Previous St. Peter Chanel Award recipient and Marist School Board of Trustees member Bishop Joel M. Konzen, S.M. introduced the Markwalters to the many Marist School donors in attendance at the event.
“They have a powerful sense of wanting to give back to the entities that shape them and their children,” Konzen said. “They are pleased to see the way that the hopes that they invested in — the faith and education — are being realized in their five sons. Marist School is grateful for the many ways that they have employed to advance the mission and impact of that mission.”
The Markwalters’ relationship with Marist began over two decades ago when their five sons attended the school’s summer camps, and Marist has become an integral part of their family history in the years since. The duo enthusiastically followed their sons’ many athletic, extracurricular, and academic endeavors while supporting the Annual Fund and the Booster Club. Juanita Markwalter often participated in the Booster Club’s annual golf tournament.
Together, the Markwalters impacted the success of Marist’s ‘The Way. The Hope. The Promise.’ capital campaign by serving as co-chairs of the WHP parent committee, hosting the campaign kickoff and several other events at their home, as well as generously supporting the effort. Jack Markwalter also served on the WHP leadership committee. Their combined, years-long efforts helped the campaign, the largest in school history, to surpass its original fundraising goal and to dramatically transform the Marist campus and educational experience for current and future generations of students.
Jack Markwalter has served on the Marist School Board of Trustees since 2012, contributing his time to the Committee on Trustees and the Development Committee. As Chairman and CEO of CIBC Private Wealth Management, he lent financial expertise to Marist during the development of the school’s Strategic Plan 2025. The vision and goals set forth in the strategic plan are guiding Marist forward as it seeks to prepare its students to lead and serve with compassion, integrity, and a sense of purpose.
“Marist School has been blessed by the involvement and generosity of Juanita and Jack Markwalter, and we are so pleased to acknowledge that extraordinary support with the St. Peter Chanel Award,” Marist School President Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M. said. “Their strong belief in the educational experience that Marist School provides is noteworthy and very much appreciated.”