Scholarship Luncheon

Apr 27, 2014

I see an exceptional group of people before me—dedicated and outstanding leaders. We share a very practical understanding of and commitment to education—in so many ways, life’s true commodity of lasting value. This shared recognition of the value of learning and the interdependence of the generations is the foundation of our enduring partnership. This is evident in the heartfelt words of those who have given so generously to support our students, as well as in the deep gratitude of our student scholars. Each of these captures the spirit of this event and the mission of this University.

Our mission and our core values are inspired by the spiritual example of St. Alphonsus, who believed that each person should be given the opportunity to realize his or her God-given potential. This bold legacy is what empowered the IHM Sisters to establish Marywood nearly 100 years ago, and it continues to thrive and move through each generation, always with an eye toward the future.

Our generous benefactors have invested in our students through scholarships, providing them with opportunities to pursue and realize their educational dreams. Our students, whose lives have been changed by your generosity, will go forward and make a positive difference in the life of the world. Years from now, they will recall your generosity, and they, too, will support the dreams of another student. This is the heart of the Alphonsian tradition!

When I see each generation helping the next—even those unseen—I am reminded the intricate pattern of webs. Just as a spider spins a strong, elaborate web, so too do our relationships weave beautiful patterns of interdependence that connect us. All the pieces of this web are important—each strand contributes its overall strength. However, we can’t focus on just one thread at a time—we need to step back and witness the fullness of the handiwork. It is only then that we can see the miracle and the magnificence of the complete pattern.

That is the sense I get when I look around this room. Throughout the course of the year, new scholarship agreements cross my desk at various times, and I am always gratified to see them and to sign them, knowing that the outcome is another student helped, another dream closer to being realized.

However, those agreements and the generosity of the individuals and families who put them forth compose just one strand of what we celebrate today; the students who benefit from your generosity are yet another. The ways in which these students pursue and fulfill their dreams of an education add still more threads to the pattern.

When I see all of you gathered here, when I step back to observe this web of relationship in the fullness of its splendor, I envision all of the good that has gone into this world because of these relationships.

Marywood’s story is now nearly 100 years old:  think of the interconnected relationships that have built us to this point; try to imagine where they will lead and grow in the next 100 years. The names we have yet to know, whose inspiring lives are still unfolding—these enduring connections of the future are beginning to take shape today.

Your presence here affirms the importance of these ongoing connections and of what we do at Marywood University. Your commitment bears witness to the fact that our important work can and will continue—assuring that our students will always have access to a meaningful education and significant opportunities. We celebrate Marywood and the leaders who have come from it to become—in turn—a blessing to communities and professions and people regionally and throughout the world. We celebrate our many devoted benefactors who believe in and have so generously invested in this University.

It is with thanks to God that I offer my deepest gratitude, on behalf of Marywood University, to you—the students, the benefactors, the faculty, the alumni—to all who believe in Marywood and who continue to actively support and carry forth our mission to the world. God bless you!