The Fader family, based in Baltimore, has a deep connection to the McDonogh School in Owings Mills. Judi and Steve Fader served as school board members while their three children, Dorie, Michael and Lexi, attended the school between 2005 and 2009.
Although it’s been nearly a decade since the youngest Fader studied at McDonogh, the family continues to support the school, recently funding the construction of a 7,000-square-foot academic building to house the school’s robotics and engineering programs. The building, named the Fader Innovation Center at McDonogh School, will be the center for the school’s SEED (Social Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Design)courses. It will also feature an auto bay where students will have the opportunity to work on cars.
The center’s opening ceremony, attended by more than 500 McDonogh upper school students, was held on Sept. 12. The ceremonial ribbon cutting was appropriately performed by a student-built robot.
“That was a nice touch,” said Michael Fader, 28, the vice president of MileOne Holdings, an entity associated with the MileOne Autogroup.
Fader, who gave opening remarks before the unveiling of the new facility, believes that students who study robotics and engineering put themselves in positions to be innovators and future leaders. He applauded McDonogh for investing so heavily in SEED courses and for being a front-runner in such an academic movement.
“I think the center really helps set McDonogh apart,” Fader said. “With an innovation center like the FIC, McDonogh plants its flag in the ground as a school that is very forward thinking, innovative and willing to go out there and try new things.”
The Fader family is also sponsoring the Fader Innovation Challenge, a year-long program currently in development that will bring students from surrounding communities together with McDonogh students to design technological solutions to human problems. The program will align well the Fader family’s goal for the center.
“My hopes for the center is that it will be used as a resource not only for McDonogh students, but for the community,” Fader said.