John and Sue Sobrato, known for their deep support of Catholic schools in the Bay Area and beyond, were awarded the 2023 Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education at their home in Northern California Monday.
John Staud, the executive director of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, the director of pastoral life for ACE, and Kevin Baxter, the director of the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, presented the award.
“The signature contribution that John and Sue have made to Catholic schools will ensure that their legacy endures and impacts Catholic educators and their students for years to come,” Staud said. “They have leveraged leadership to transform Catholic schools, especially those that serve families that live on the margins.”
John Sobrato is the founder of the Mountain View, California-based The Sobrato Organization, a family-owned organization comprised of three synergistic enterprise units: real estate and development, Sobrato Capital, and Sobrato Philanthropies. He now serves as the board chair emeritus as his son, John Michael Sobrato, serves as board chair.
The Sobratos are passionate about giving back to their community through Sobrato Philanthropies. As a part of The Sobrato Organization, Sobrato Philanthropies partners with communities to meet immediate needs, address systemic barriers, and pursue social justice to build a more equitable and sustainable world.
In 2018, the Sobratos signed the Giving Pledge, which is an open invitation for the wealthiest people in the world to publicly commit to donating the majority of their wealth to philanthropy either during their lifetime or in their will.
A generous and ongoing gift from the Sobrato family has enabled ACE to educate 118 Sobrato Family Scholars in the Remick Leadership Program, its principal formation program that leads to a master’s degree in educational leadership. More than 90 percent of these graduates and students work in Catholic education, 82 percent of whom hold leadership positions in their schools.
Each year, Notre Dame recognizes someone who has made outstanding, lifetime contributions to sustain and strengthen Catholic education. The Notre Dame Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Education is the highest honor bestowed by ACE.