Marquette Catholic High School was one of only two Northwest Indiana high schools to earn the Indiana Department of Education’s 2021 Purple Star designation, as announced by the organization Wednesday. The distinction, which rewards institutions for their display of commitment to service members, veterans, students, and families connected to the United States military, is a three-year designation.

“I’m delighted both professionally and personally to lead a school that is recognized for its service to our veterans and their families. I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished already alongside Folds of Honor, and it’s my hope this award only accelerates the goodwill the Marquette community can do for our service members,” principal Casey Martin, the grandson of a World War II veteran, said.

Schools receiving the Purple Star designation must meet several criteria, including an annual military program, a public military display, a dedicated webpage, a designated point of contact for military families, a resolution in support from its Board, and an employment pledge to military service members and immediate family members.

A project spearheaded by Martin beginning in the fall of 2019, Marquette has raised over $3,300 for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled service members. Combining the exclusive “MQTT” logo with the American flag, Martin has designed patriotic-themed hats, pullovers, and fleeces in both adult and children sizes. Marquette will unveil its 2021 items tomorrow to kick off its Veterans Day sale to support Folds of Honor.