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New Scholarships and Commencement Medal Announced

The University recently announced three new scholarships and a commencement medal: The Marywood University Class of 1959 Endowed Scholarship; The Tara Lee and Kelly Erin Ruddy Sisters Memorial Endowed Scholarship; The Barbara Sowinski Endowed Scholarship; and The Robert E. Quinnan Medal for Distinguished Service in the Alphonsian and IHM Tradition.

The Marywood University Class of 1959 Endowed Scholarship was established in celebration of the Class of 1959s 50th Reunion Year in 2009, to recognize their special year and to collectively express appreciation for their Marywood education. For more than 57 years, members of the Class of 1959 have fulfilled the promise of character, talent, and faith that was demonstrated during their years at Marywood. The scholarship will benefit future undergraduate and graduate students who present financial need, so they too will have the opportunities that the Class of 1959 enjoyed at Marywood University.

Mrs. Priscilla Scovell ’59, Plains, Pa., and Ms. Mary Jane Milner Memolo ’59, Scranton, Pa., representing the class in making the gift, said, “the members of the Class of 1959 came together to give back what they so graciously received during their Marywood years.” Both Mrs. Scovell and Ms. Memolo are grateful that the scholarship has become a reality through the collaboration and contributions of their class.

The Tara Lee and Kelly Erin Ruddy Sisters Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established to provide financial aid to graduate students majoring in social work at Marywood University. Both Tara Lee and Kelly Erin Ruddy grew up at Marywood University, beginning their connection with the campus community when they were children. Their mother, Mary Theresa worked in the Library, and their father, Leo, is an alumnus of the University’s School of Social Work.

During their time at Marywood, Tara Lee and Kelly Erin not only achieved their educational goals, they also lived lives of exemplary service, inspiration, and joy. They each volunteered at the Women’s Resource Center, were members of St. Patrick’s Church in West Scranton, and were part of the committee for the Paul “Hook” O’Malley Race against Cancer. The sisters shared an unending love of animals, remarkable athletic ability, and the gift of making others smile. Sadly, their lives ended due to separate, tragic circumstances. However, the legacy of love, care, and compassion that they cultivated during their lives endures.

To honor their memory and assist future Marywood University graduate students majoring in social work, the Tara Lee and Kelly Erin Ruddy Endowed Memorial Scholarship has been established by their parents, Leo and Mary Ruddy, Scranton, Pa., and their classmates and friends.

The Barbara Sowinski Endowed Scholarship was established as a merit-based award and will benefit undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in the field of architecture. Ms. Sowinski’s journey to Marywood—and to college in general—was a roundabout one. Ms. Sowinski, earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Hunter College. Thirty years ago, Barbara retired to a 65-acre farm in Bradford County, Pa., to begin "phase two" of her life. Her decision to learn how to paint led to 12 months of study at the Art Students League in New York City, The Studio School of New York City, The Vermont Studio Center, and then, "just for fun" a master’s degree in art at Marywood University in 2000. Barbara's non-traditional approach to college has led to her appreciation for lifelong learning. Earning a degree at Marywood was such a positive experience that she wanted to enable others to achieve their goals in the field of architecture.

The Robert E. Quinnan Medal for Distinguished Service in the Alphonsian and IHM Tradition was awarded for the first time to a graduating senior, Paul M. Kraycer, Peckville, Pa., who has given quiet, generous, unassuming service to others while matriculating at Marywood University.

The medal has been established by Catherine G. Quinnan, Marywood graduate and trustee, to honor the memory of her husband, who died very unexpectedly on June 7, 2015. Inspiration for this medal came from a scripture passage found that day in Give Us This Day, a daily prayer book. The verse exemplified the way Mr. Quinnan had lived his life:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interest of others.” (Phil 2:3-5)

While recognizing the student who has exemplified St. Paul’s words in campus life, this medal also recognizes the mission and charism of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that is at the heart of a Marywood University education.