Regina Tirpak ’59 (M.S. ’66) now has an enduring legacy at Marywood. From when she first walked the hallowed halls of the former Marywood Seminary through her final resting place, Regina’s story is the Marywood story. She was committed to lifelong learning, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Home Economics and Education at Marywood. Truly grateful for her Marywood education, Regina consistently supported the University with annual gifts, because she wanted other students to enjoy the same opportunities. A passionate educator herself, she lived what she learned throughout her 30 years as a home economics teacher in the Wyoming Valley West School District. When Regina passed away in 2018, her legacy plans included what was most important to her in life—students—particularly Marywood students. Her generosity and vision made possible the establishment of the Tirpak Family Memorial Scholarship, which benefits female students studying Nutrition and Dietetics. Her generous estate gift, exceeding $3 million, is one of the largest gifts to the University to date.
"Being a scholarship recipient is such an honor. It allows me to devote all of my time on my studies, as opposed to spending my free time worried about working to pay for my education. I am able to continue my field hockey career and spend my time participating in clubs. Having a scholarship also eases my worries about post-graduation, with that said, I am able to put 100 percent focus on my studies to become the best dietitian I can be once I graduate from Marywood University."» Marisa Mongioi ’20, Nutrition and Dietetics Major
With grant support exceeding $100,000 from the Moses Taylor Foundation, Marywood purchased an Anatomage Table to provide students with a state-of-the-art, hands-on learning environment. It is both a virtual library of human and animal cadavers and a clinical diagnostic tool that can visualize any Medical CT, CBCT, or MRI Scan. The Table enhances multiple Marywood health related academic programs, including Physician Assistant, Nutrition and Dietetics, Athletic Training, Nursing, and Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“Think of the Anatomage Table almost like a giant iPad. Literally, with the swipe of a finger, you can remove the skin to get down to see muscle, or you can remove the muscle to see the bone. It’s just the beginning of really enhancing the learning experience for our students.”» Lisa Antoniacci, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Biotechnology Program Director
The Robert H. Spitz Foundation made a positive impact on Scranton’s growing Hispanic population through its grant support of Marywood’s S.T.A.R.S. Program, an after school mentoring/homework help program. Marywood students mentor Latino youth in grades 7-12 to bring more awareness to the options that exist in higher education to help them define future goals. Staff and volunteers create mentoring themes, ideas for youth and parent workshops, and help conduct volunteer training with a focus on mentoring and cultural awareness. With additional funding from the foundation this year, several academic departments will host S.T.A.R.S. youth to introduce them to various majors and hands-on activities, affording students and their families more exposure to opportunities on Marywood’s campus.
One of our goals was to engage Marywood University student volunteers in a reciprocal learning experience with Latino students and their families, which would increase their community collaboration skills and commitment to service. We were able to see how much these student volunteers learned through the year and through surveys given to the volunteers at the end of the program.» Emily Coleman, STARS Program Coordinator
Molly Conahan Toole ’65 and her late husband, James Toole, honored their family’s connection to Marywood through a significant gift to both address the immediate needs of scholarship and create a legacy through an endowed scholarship. Jim’s mom, Alberta Corgan Toole ’27, and his aunt, Margaret E. Corgan ’31, had pursued a degree when it was uncommon for women to attend college. With the introduction of the Toole Scholars Program, their family legacy endures at Marywood. “The Marywood connection is a family connection,” said Molly. “Education is so important, and that importance doesn’t diminish with time. Any student who truly wants an education should be able to get an education without financial barriers.” To date, there are 54 Toole Scholars from five states, representing 32 majors.
“I chose Marywood because I knew that I would be able to get an excellent education, especially in my field, while also being part of such an empowering institution and community...it is because of the Toole Scholars Program that I can get through college. I appreciate not just the financial support but also the Toole Family’s desire to want to help people succeed in life.”» Brenna Heller ’21, 3rd Year Interior Architecture Student
Brenna recently showcased her floating art desk at High Point Market, the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world.
In 2018-2019, eight new endowed scholarships and four new annual scholarships were established. These, along with existing scholarships, are part of what makes Marywood University an affordable option—75 percent of our students receive a scholarship worth more than half of their tuition.
For its 50th reunion, the Class of 1969 celebrated by giving two gifts that truly represent the heart and soul of Marywood. The Class of 1969 Endowed Scholarship provides needed funding and ensures educational opportunities for deserving students, now and in years to come. By supporting the Marywood Arch Beautification Project, the class is helping to preserve this iconic symbol, built in 1902, which stands as an enduring emblem of Marywood’s mission. A recently-established tradition of walking through the Marywood Arch has become a rite of passage for new students during Orientation Weekend.
Gifts such as these affected our lives when we first visited campus as prospective students, and today as alumni returning to campus.» Vicki Klitsch Randall ’69, Chairperson, Class of ’69 Reunion Gift Committee
Through generous support from longtime Marywood benefactors Hans and Antonia Gerod Schierling ’60, graduate social work students experience the world. The Schierling Grant has funded the Global Social Work Education and International Field Education experience for M.S.W. students and faculty from the Marywood University School of Social Work. Students gained scholarly experiences in international field education during trips to Kenya and Romania. The most recent trip to Romania included visiting various social service programs, participating in special activities for disabled children and adults, and attending a conference at Ovidius University, where Marywood faculty member Sister Angela Kim, IHM, was an invited guest speaker. Sister Angela and her M.S.W. students also attended the 2019 Constanta Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum, attending presentations focused on security risks, threats, and vulnerabilities of the Euro Atlantic and international environment. They studied the differences and similarities among social service agencies’ programs, policies, and procedures between Romania and the United States.
“Being able to go to Kenya has solidified the importance of GLOCAL (Global/Local) social work for me. Globalism is inevitable and I need to understand what is happening beyond our nation’s borders to be able to respond locally. So what better way then to go abroad and live it, embrace it, and see it myself?”» Jenny Gonzalez M.S.W. ’19