Transforming Saint Mary's, One Gift at a Time.

With the support of incredibly generous philanthropic partners like you, Saint Mary’s is advancing in key areas of growth and development, working to ensure that our students are able to pursue their passion for learning in a 21st-century academic environment grounded in Lasallian Catholic traditions. Below are stories from students and faculty who have benefitted directly from philanthropic support like yours, and how it has transformed their educational experience. Also includes are stories from benefactors, who were moves to support an important initiative, or are simply "paying it forward" because of the benefits they received as Saint Mary's students. Together, these are the stories of how generosity like yours makes a strong and lasting impact.

Why I Give: A Step Ahead in Science and Business

July 2020

"One of the drivers for my choosing Saint Mary's University was the ability to do undergraduate research as part of my pursuit of a science degree, which was a fantastic learning opportunity. The new Science and Learning Center continues to expand that opportunity for students, and that will only grow with the next phase renovation to the existing science building to bring business and science together. This mirrors many industries today and is a crucial connection that I am thrilled to see being embraced by Saint Mary's University. I am proud to support Saint Mary's in this endeavour to bring the science/business collaboration to their students."

-Matt Bilski, '07

 

Edwards, Kerry

Why I Give: Success Is Measured By What We Can Do For Others

July 2020

"Money is a tool, not a goal. Financial clarity is different for everyone. It's deeply personal. When my wife and I had our daughter, it was a time of reflection for me. Who am I and what shaped my character? And what do I want for 'my' next generation? To me, our success is measured by the fulfillment of the people we serve, and the communities we foster. The Saint Mary's Fund is the heart and access for the next generation. I'm fortunate to work for company that helped me achieve financial clarity and contentment, which in turn, allows me to live generously. The organizations and causes we care about are different for everyone. But ask yourself, what experiences helped develop the person I am today. Saint Mary's empowered me to live a life of service and leadership. Times of uncertainty offer the unique opportunity to rethink what could be possible."

-Kerry Edwards '04
Financial Associate
Thrivent

 

Marc Weisenberger as Student Catcher

From Player to Pudge's Place

October 2019

“In thinking about how I could help define success for Saint Mary’s baseball, I wanted to try and determine what I could do to make a difference. This clubhouse creates value around the baseball program, and it allows us to compete against larger schools with bigger budgets. I am honored that my nickname is on this clubhouse, and I am proud to be forever connected to Saint Mary’s baseball … and all that it stands for.”


— Marc (Pudge) Weisenberger ’75,
Lead Benefactor, Baseball Clubhouse

More about his story:
Saint Mary's Dedicates New Baseball Clubhouse

Welcome to Pudge's Place

Winecke, NIck

Home Run for the Baseball Team

October 2019

"The impact [of philanthropy] on our baseball program is endless! It's because of our great alumni in the baseball program that our current and future players have a state-of-the-art clubhouse that we get to call home. Everything from our great field to the batting cages to the clubhouse is because of our very generous alumni that believe in the mission of Saint Mary's and the culture that has been created within our program."

-Nick Winecke '07 M'12
Head Baseball Coach
Associate Athletic Director

Moni Berg-Binder

Supporting First Generation Students; Moving Science Forward

March 2019

"I work with the FGI scholars and the Countdown to College program as a science instructor. The generosity given to the First Generation Initiative allows me to help lift up our students.

The philanthropy directed toward the new Science and Learning Center has allowed for the sciences to move forward, providing updated instructional spaces for our students."

-Moni Berg-Binder, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology Department

Why I Give: Coming Home

July 2020

"My husband, Lou McCoy, ’79, and I met at Saint Mary’s. I was a freshman at the College of Saint Teresa (CST) and he was a sophomore at Saint Mary’s. He was recruiting waitresses from CST to work at Blue Angel. My brother Dick Stringham, ‘74, had been in Phi Mu Alpha and suggested that I should waitress at Blue Angel if the opportunity presented itself. I worked that whole weekend as a waitress. The rest is, as they say, history.

Throughout the next 4 years we grew together and went on to create a life together. We married in 1980. Two of our 4 children graduated from Saint Mary’s. I graduated from SMU with an M.A. in 2011.

Over the years we would return to campus with some frequency, more so when our sons were students. I was infamous for calling them up on a Sunday from Lock and Dam #5, announcing we were on our way, and get ready to go get lunch. We enjoyed various opportunities to come to campus. Each time we return to campus we have that warm feeling of coming home.

With all the changes that have been made on campus, it is still home. Those years of growing and learning made a lifelong impact. Saint Mary’s is home.

Why do we give? We want to support our home.

For Lou it has been 41 years since his graduation. For me, my graduation from CST is 40 years and from SMU it is 9 years…Saint Mary’s continues to be home.

My brothers, one of my sisters, one of my sisters-in-law graduated from Saint Mary’s.

Why do we give? We want to support this family and to help her grow.

So quite simply, Saint Mary’s is family and it is certainly home.

-Peg McCoy, CST ’80, M’11

 

Baertsch, Jenny action shot

Overcoming Hurdles 

October 2019

“As a community bank, WNB Financial understands the importance of giving back, bringing strength and vitality to the communities we’ve served since 1874. This commitment is rooted in our mission to enrich lives and our core value of integrity – doing the right thing for the right reason every time. WNB’s support and partnership with Saint Mary’s Athletics is twofold: we believe Saint Mary’s is a significant contributor to the local and regional economy, and we support the university’s mission of providing its student-athletes with the opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in athletic competition.

As a 2005 Saint Mary’s alumna and four-year member of the track and cross country teams, I’m so proud to work for an organization that supports my alma mater and a program that helped shape who I am today.”

— Jennifer (Folgers) Baertsch ’05
2015 Outstanding Young Alumnus Recipient
Marketing Manager at WNB Financial

Scott Walker

Opening Up Opportunities for the Rochester Community

March 2019

"In my current role as Associate Vice President - Rochester and Executive Director of Cascade Meadow I have experienced first-hand how philanthropic support aids the university and gives us a position of strength. Saint Mary's simply would not be as well positioned in Rochester without the incredible philanthropic support we have received. From the donation of the Cascade Meadow facility to the university in 2015, to the fully funded Remick Hall addition completed in 2018, our students and programs have benefited substantially in Rochester.

We have developed a name and place for ourselves in the higher education environment in Rochester that has positioned us well in the market, and poised for future growth. All this thanks to generous philanthropic support."

-Scott N. Walker, '91, M'98
Associate Vice President,Rochester - Partnerships
Executive Director, Cascade Meadow

Christine Beech

Kudos for Kabara 

March 2019

"The incredible generosity of the Kabara's has enabled Saint Mary's to offer innovative programming to our students. Their support has funded the Kabara Institute, a place where students can explore social innovation and entrepreneurship, and develop critical problem solving skills as they seek to address the most challenging issues in society today. The development of these skills is what sets apart our graduates in workforce."

-Christine Beech, D.M.
Executive Director, Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies;
Dr. Jon and Betty Kabara Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Assistant Professor of Business

Why I Give: Investing To Keep Saint Mary's On The Forward Edge

July 2020

"Saint Mary's has always been a story of looking forward and being a leader in Science, Business Studies and all that the Liberal Arts encompass. I have been proud to watch from the sidelines as Saing Mary's has not only looked forward, but moved forward during the 53 years since I matriculated from this wonderful school. It has become stronger in the sciences, business studies, computer,mathematics and a combination of all of these. As St. Mary's moves into the Twenty-First Century it has learned from previous generations what will make it strong and has carried out the visions of past presidents and administrations. As with institutions of higher learning, Saint Mary's must grow its endowment, keep tuition reasonable and grow on all its campuses. I give so young men and women now and in the future will be able to attend St. Mary's, become leaders in their chosen fields and in society as a whole. My love for Saint Mary's grows as the institution moves ever forward!"

-John M. Hendele III '67

 

Statue of Saint Mary

Why I Give: Sharing Blessings

July 2020

"When I graduated from SMU in 1974, I made a promise to myself to repay the partial scholarship I received for my four years of education.  You see, I was one of the “First Generation” in my family, before this was even a benefactor opportunity program at SMU.  I would not have been able to attend SMU, without someone else’s generosity. 

"Now, 46 years later, I have long since paid back the scholarship and continue to give because of my strengthened Christian faith, which was nurtured by the Christian Brother’s example of Lasallian servant leadership and Christ’s love for me.   I support and value all Catholic education, which is a unique shining light of truth in our secular darkness.  Today, more than ever, our students need to hear that Christ loves them.  They are prohibited from hearing this Good News anywhere else, other than in our Christian churches/schools and, hopefully, in their homes.

"I continue to share the abundant blessings that the Lord provides to me.  I also give from a cheerful heart, developed through my Catholic education, for which I am eternally grateful.  How can one ever repay the experience you can enjoy at SMU, sharing life with faith filled people?  I pray that today’s students will benefit from SMU’s Lasallian education in the same way I have and will pay it forward to future generations."  

-Dale Lieb '74 

 

Kristin Burke '21

Empowered in Lasallian Tradition

November 2019

The following essay, written by junior education major Kristin Burke was awarded first place in the Lasallian Essay Contest, as part of Saint Mary’s #300 celebration — honoring Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the patron saint of educators, who died 300 years ago. In it she shares how the Lasallian charism at Saint Mary's has impacted her. Read Burke's essay here.

Sonday, Laura action shot

For the Love of It

October 2019

“The experience I’ve had with the Athletic Department at Saint Mary’s has been positive all four years.
We play in a conference that I would argue is one of the toughest DIII conferences in the country. That said, the encouragement we receive from the entire university is incredible. Just as important, athletes at Saint Mary’s are so fortunate to have generous benefactors, especially those who might not get to see us in action. We are so appreciative of all those who give to the athletic community. These donations help us obtain new equipment, uniforms, facilities, and ultimately help us increase our competitive edge.

It just demonstrates once again how Cardinals care for one another, and we cannot extend our gratitude enough.”


— Laura Sonday ’19
Meeting and Marketing Coordinator
Bleachr, LLC

Edwards Robeson, Valerie

Helping Students Broaden Their Horizons

March 2019

"In every semester, I am humbled by the experiences that donors enable students' growth through. With donor-supported scholarships and our arts, athletics, and study abroad programs in particular, students experience leadership opportunities, complete internships transforming bigotry and violence into appreciation and peace.

Donor-supported opportunities for Lasallian formation give our alumni a competitive edge in the job market that values the capacity for discernment and actively engage in gratifying committed service programs like Lasallian Volunteers."

-Valerie Edwards Robeson, MSSW
Human Services Program Coordinator,
Associate Professor of Social Science