Annual Gilbane Scholarship Enables DBG Students to Attend Private High Schools 

Private schools often have many advantages including lower student-to-teacher ratios, a greater range of activities and subjects, more rigorous academics, and customized, individualized support. 

Thanks to the generosity of businessman and philanthropist Tom Petzold, President of Petzold Enterprises, and his wife Jeanne, DBG students are able to attend local private high schools through the William J. Gilbane Scholarship program they started several years ago, named for and inspired by Tom’s late grandfather.

DBG students have the chance to apply in 8th grade and receive scholarships that cover tuition and transportation costs. On June 13, a special barbecue took place to celebrate the impact of the Gilbane scholarship. This annual event is not just a gathering, but a testament to the power of community and education. 

The Gilbane scholarship initially focused on De La Salle Collegiate High School, an all-boys Catholic high school in Warren, but has expanded to include more schools and opportunities for girls.

“It’s grown significantly, partnering with schools like University of Detroit-Jesuit and Regina. We’re seeing students thrive academically and socially, benefiting from rigorous academics and deep alumni networks,” said Katie Solomon, DBG’s program director and COO. “It’s about providing options. These schools offer rigorous academics aligned with DBG’s ethos – enabling everyone to strive for top universities.”

“The growth of the program has exceeded our wildest expectations,” Petzold added. “I love Detroit, and I love to see students reach their full potential.”

The annual barbecue serves as a vital moment for students and donors alike, enabling the Petzold family to meet participating students, hear about their experiences and successes, and remain connected.

DBG’s role is to create a support system and community beyond school hours, ensuring students have the tools and opportunities needed to achieve their dreams. This generosity and commitment of the Petzold family and the Gilbane Scholarship is crucial to our students’ success.

Want to support this effort? Save the date for October 25, 2024. The American acoustic band, the Wood Box Heroes will perform a special benefit concert at DBG and proceeds will benefit the Gilbane Scholarship fund. For more information on how you can support DBG and our initiatives, visit