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July 1, 2024 — On June 25, 2024, the final steel beam for the framing of Wade Academic Center was installed at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, California. To mark the occasion, a “topping off” ceremony was held, during which guests placed their signatures on the beam prior to it being hoisted into place.

Fr. Jerry Wade, SJ, chancellor of Bellarmine College Prep, signs the final beam that will top the 44,000 square-foot Wade Academic Center at school. (Al Bacosa/Bacosa Photography)

The first to sign was Fr. Jerry Wade, SJ, Bellarmine’s chancellor emeritus, who also added the names of his late parents, Walter and Clara, as the new facility will be named in honor of the Wade family.

Fr. Jerry Wade, SJ

Fr. Wade, 84, was born in San Jose and graduated from Bellarmine in 1955. He returned to the school as a Jesuit scholastic in 1962 and again as president in 1979, serving in the role for 14 years. According to research done for his 80th birthday celebration, Fr. Wade’s family roots in the Santa Clara Valley go back to the Alviso family—for whom the community in North San Jose is named—in the 1700s. His great grandfather Charles Wade arrived in 1849 and married into the Alviso family.

In addition to Fr. Wade and major lead gift donors of the Capital Campaign, participants at the topping off ceremony included Chris Meyercord, president; Rod Jemison, principal; Fr. Mike Moodie, SJ, of the Bellarmine Jesuit community; and representatives of Devcon Construction.

Al Bacosa/Bacosa Photography

The Wade Academic Center is scheduled to open for the academic year beginning in fall 2025. The 44,000-square-foot building will be home to 21 classrooms, the Modern and Classical Languages department, a new IT center, the dean’s office, the James A. Harville Speech and Debate Hub, and the Fr. Dick Cobb, S.J. Center for Adult Spirituality.

Rendering courtesy Devcon Construction