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Giving From the Heart, Giving for Life

Sister Mary Brigid Condon, RSM
Sister Mary Brigid Condon, RSM

December 2011 | by Robin Youngblood

For beloved professors who have touched thousands of lives over the years, an endowed scholarship or fund can serve as a living legacy to their selfless service.

In the past two years, such endowments have been created to honor the late Sister Mary Brigid Condon, RSM, the Rev. Edmond Dunn '58, and the late Michael Orfitelli, EdD.

Sally Crino, assistant vice president for Advancement/Gift Planning, said scholarships and funds become endowed when donations reach $50,000. The principal amount is never spent; only the earnings are dispersed.

"The benefit of an endowment is that it's there for life," Crino said. "It's a way to pay tribute and remember influential professors who have left a legacy in their teaching and the work they've done with students at St. Ambrose."

Different from a scholarship, Fr. Dunn, a longtime theology professor, started an endowed fund in his name that will help pay for Campus Ministry mission and service trips to places like The David School in David, Ky., where he has taken scores of students over the years to volunteer. By giving so graciously, Fr. Dunn is teaching dedication to service and enriching the lives of others. In only five months, the fund reached an endowed status-a very short time to raise that much money.

"So many people came together to honor Fr. Dunn and his ministry, and to help those who need guidance and support," said P.J. Foley, '01, '05 MOL, senior advancement officer.

For those who have passed on, endowed scholarships allow memories of a cherished loved one to live on in perpetuity.

Although it seems like yesterday, it has been two years since kinesiology professor and golf and soccer coach Orfitelli died unexpectedly. To celebrate his life and help the memories live on, a meaningful tribute was created. The Michael A. Orfitelli Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship to a student majoring in exercise science, human performance and fitness, sport management, physical education or physical education teaching, or who is participating in varsity sports. In addition, applicants must demonstrate community activism and involvement.

For years to come, nursing students also will benefit from the generosity of the Mercy nurses from 1959 and other emeritus classes who started the scholarship in Sister Brigid's name.

"Scholarships like these provide a base of financial support forever and ever," Crino said. "If it's just an annual scholarship, as soon as that person stops making that gift, the support goes away. Endowments strengthen the university's ability to provide financial support to students through a robust scholarship program."

For more information on endowments, contact Sally Crino, 563/333-6290.


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