Give Day 3.16.21 Graphic Slider

Thank you for helping us reach our goal!

From snail mail to social media, and multiple online giving pages running throughout the day, we had a number of ways for the Saint Mary's community to help us reach our $20,000 goal - and reach it we did!

In fact, all told, Saint Mary's Day of Giving 2023 brought in $29,970 dollars!

You also helped us get the full $3,060 alumni board challenge match, with a total of $8,478 coming in from first time donors (welcome!) and those who increased the amount of their gift this year.

THANK YOU for stepping up to help Saint Mary's students, ensuring we surpassed our goal, and helping to honor our founders and lasallian catholic heritage while building towards our future.

Together, We Can Help Shape the Future for Students at Saint Mary's

Saint Mary's Day of Giving is a 24-hour giving challenge where we come together to support our students. Our goal is to increase the financial resources available for scholarships, academic programs, and enhancements to both on ground and online learning environments. In particular, we ask for your help in supporting the Saint Mary’s Fund, one of the university’s most important resources.


Make a Gift to:

Saint Mary's fund                                                           Popular Initiatives


Alumni Board $3,060 Challenge Match 

As members of the Saint Mary’s Alumni Board, we believe strongly in the mission of this school, the momentum of the university and potential of its students. ThatAlumni Board $3,060 Challenge for Day of Giving 2023 is why last year, we pooled our personal funds together and came up with $2,000 for a "New Donors, New Dollars" challenge to alumni.

And boy did you come through! Our challenge inspired 140 first-time donors and raised more than $11,000 in new dollars for the Saint Mary’s Fund, and made a BIG impact for students

So this year we stepped up our challenge. If you make your first gift, we will match that amount to the Saint Mary’s Fund. If you are an annual donor already, we challenge you to increase your gift, and we will match that increase to the Saint Mary’s Fund.

In short, you make a gift, and the portion that is more than your gift last year will be doubled, up to $3,060.

Join us in honoring our past by supporting the future, today.

-Your Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 2022-2023 Alumni Board



Why Your Support Matters

I am the Saint Mary's Fund

March 2023

What does the Saint Mary's fund support? Let our students share with you a few of the ways your gift makes an impact.



January 2023

Darrell Vitullo B'01 is a member of our Alumni Board and chair of our Digital Engagement Committee. Darrell is a Senior Technical Writer at Edge Advertising.

-Darrell Vitullo B'01



December 2022

Dan Hunt B'78 majored in Chemistry during his time at Saint Mary's University. Dan is the owner of Hunt Associates in the Twin Cities and a new member of the Alumni Board.

-Dan Hunt B'78



January 2023

Russ Barcelona B'82 majored in Psychology. He is the Co-Founder and Business Psychologist for Ascend Talent Strategies in Milwaukee, WI. Russ is a great advocate for SMU and currently serves on our Alumni Board.

-Russ Barcelona B'82


Saint Mary's Fund Video Image Still

About Saint Mary's Fund Video

Founders La Salle and Heffron

Honoring the founders of our school and Lasallian heritage


January 2023

Elizabeth Larson M'08 received her Masters of Instruction in 2008. Betsy serves on our Alumni Board and is heavily involved in the Winona community. As a member of the alumni board, Betsy is working to strengthen our relationships between the university and the communities we serve.

-Elizabeth Larson M'08



December 2022

Ryan Pajak B'04, M'10 is the principal at Nativity of Mary School in the Twin Cities. He graduated from SMU in 2004 with a degree in Childhood/Early Adols K-8 and later got his masters from SMU focused on Educational Leadership. Ryan volunteers on the alumni board as well.

-Ryan Pajak B'04, M'10



January 2023

Kerry Edwards B'04 is extremely proud of the Alumni Association and Board of Directors for creating their Why Saint Mary's spots!

He challenged the Board to challenge their networks of other alumni to ask themselves, what experiences helped develop the person I am today? Saint Mary's University taught me service and leadership and to be an example in my community.

-Kerry Edwards B‘04


Saint Mary's Fund Video Image Still

What do I love about Saint Mary's Video



December 2022

Dr. Chris Tyre, B'81 graduated Saint Mary's University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. He then went on to earn his Ph.D.. He has been employed by the Wisconsin Dept of Corrections for 20+ years. Dr. Tyre also holds a position as an adjunct professor at the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology teaching courses in correctional psychology, forensic assessment, and ethics.

-Chris Tyre B'81



January 2023

Russ Barcelona B'82 majored in Psychology. He is the Co-Founder and Business Psychologist for Ascend Talent Strategies in Milwaukee, WI. Russ is a great advocate for SMU and currently serves on our Alumni Board.

-Russ Barcelona B'82



December 2022

We have been asking alumni to share why SMU with us. Dr. Steve Rice is one of our newest members of the Alumni Board of Directors and shared his "Why SMU". 

-Steven Rice B'79



January 2023

Stephanie Belair is a newcomer to the Alumni Board of Directors. She participated in the Bachelors Completion Program and wants you to know why she chose SMU.

-Stephanie Belair B'20


Screenshot of Impact Stories web page

How gifts big and small make an impact at Saint Mary's


Why March 14th?

Saint Mary's  celebrates Founders Day every spring. Although the date varies year-to-year (this year it is March 14th, 2023), on Founders Day we honor our two founders, Saint John Baptist de La Salle and Bishop Patrick R. Heffron. Since being established in 1912, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota has been changing the lives of its students and the communities in which it serves. Founders Day serves as a reminder to campus of our origins and special Lasallian mission.

Saint Mary's Day of Giving is an homage the Lasallian principles that guide our educational values every day. We ask everyone who believes in the value of a Saint Mary's education - friends, family, alumni, students and employees - to show their pride in Saint Mary's through a gift that will go to support further efforts of the university, advances in education, and academic opportunities for all our students.   

Every Gift Matters

Sometimes it's not the size of the gift but the number of people who choose to join in that has the most impact. Participation - at any level - in Saint Mary's Day of Giving can make a big difference in the following ways:

  • Influences Major Donors and Granting Organizations. Granting organizations and major donors often use the number of donors to an institution to make decisions about their own giving. They see the number of donors as a demonstration of how alumni and others see the value of the organization they know best. More donors often correlates with more support from major benefactors.
  • Affects University Rankings. The number of alumni donors is particularly important. University rankings done by independent organizations often take the percentage of alumni who donate into account when determining overall scores. The number of alumni who give each year can affect a school's ranking. The rank of a school is not just for those inside the institution - it affects everyone who holds a degree from the school. The higher the school rank in these publications, the more value your degree holds to potential employers.
  • Higher Quality Education. More investment through philanthropy provides additional tools and resources beyond what is normally covered through tuition alone. Sometimes the funds are used to provide more financial resources to students, like scholarships and financial aid, making it easier for current students or opening the doors to students who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity. The net result is a higher quality education, that more students can access, without passing additional costs on to those who use the resources.

These are impacts that have nothing to do with the dollar amount given - just simply the fact that a gift was made. It doesn't matter what you give - but every gift matters. 

Where do the funds go?

We ask everyone to consider a gift to the Saint Mary's Fund, because this fund provides flexible, accessible support that helps the university respond immediately to critical needs as well as bolster support for ongoing needs. If you want to support something more specific, those gifts count as well, and can be easily found our our Popular Initiatives page

See the difference your gift makes on our Impact Stories page.

Who can participate?

Everybody. We ask friends, alumni, faculty, staff, students - in short, everyone - to make a gift, because every gift matters.

Didn't Saint Mary's just get a $25 mil gift? Why do you need my support?

Yes, Saint Mary's University was recently blessed by an alum and his family with a significant gift. That said, the first installment of this gift will not be delivered until June 2024 at the earliest. Furthermore, the gift must go directly into the Saint Mary's Endowment, meaning it will be still a few more years before the investment returns enough interest for operational expenses.

Meanwhile, current Saint Mary's students need support, too.

The Saint Mary's Fund is an annual fund, meaning that the gifts you give today are can be used immediately. The flexibility and ready-accessibility of the Saint Mary's Fund makes it an important and needed resource for the university when it comes to addressing new annual needs and/or unforeseen expenses. One that - with your help - can assist today's students with today's needs.