“We could always tell our parents were very proud to send us to Curley – you could see it in their faces,” said Andrew Suehle, a member of the class of 1987 who made the gift with brothers John, class of 1976, and Joseph, class of 1983.
“Curley’s obviously very important to us,” Andrew added. “It’s a large part of who we are and in our DNA, and we want it to continue for generations to come.”
The brothers founded a Baltimore-based visual effects company in the late 1990s that would became known as Image Engineering. From pyrotechnics to 3-D animation to laser effects, the Dundalk-based company has provided effects for the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles as well as other professional sports teams and entertainers including hip hop artist Jay-Z.
Yearbook photos from Archbishop Curley show John, Joseph and Andrew Suehle. (Courtesy Archbishop Curley)
“They gave us a childhood,” Andrew said, adding that such a gift “was not based on material things.”
Dorothy and Edward Suehle provided a “loving” atmosphere for the brothers to pursue their passions, Andrew said, including pyrotechnic experiments in the family’s Essex backyard.
Wait – their parents let them perform pyrotechnic experiments in the backyard?
“They really did,” Andrew said with a laugh, adding that John, the eldest, used to create elaborate Fourth of July displays for aunts and uncles. “My mom did a lot of praying that we would all be safe, but it was all worth it,” he said.
He added that his brother, Joseph, a parishioner of St. Clare, has one son who graduated from the high school and one who is in his senior year.
Andrew is a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist in Hydes, where he has a daughter at the parish school. His son is at Calvert Hall College High School, which is much closer to his residence than Curley, he said.
John, the other brother, is a parishioner of St. John in Westminster.
“We are so grateful to these gentlemen for thinking of their alma mater, as well as honoring their mother and father,” Conventual Franciscan Father Donald Grzymski, president of Curley, told the Catholic Review. “Their gift will certainly help us move toward the future.”
He added that the brothers’ action “sends kind of an inspiring message to those parents who make sacrifices now and into the future: Your children really are going to remember it and appreciate it.”
In a statement, Father Grzymski called the unrestricted gift “truly transformational for our school and will benefit our current students along with generations to come.”
Although Image Engineering does “at least” 85 percent of its business outside of Maryland, Andrew estimated, the Suehle brothers have remained in the area for one reason.
“It’s family,” he said. “It’s very important to us.”
When the Catholic Review spoke to Andrew Suehle Jan. 26, he said that he and his brothers had informed his mother they had made a donation to Curley. They planned to tell her the amount during a Jan. 27 visit.