A full academic scholarship at St. Ambrose allowed Daniel Broderick '82, MD, to go on to medical school at the University of Illinois nearly debt-free.
He left, instead, with a different sense of indebtedness.
"St. Ambrose was really there for me when I needed them," said Broderick, now a staff neuroradiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and a member of the St. Ambrose Board of Trustees. "Since I am in a place now where I can afford to be charitable, I want to give my money where I know it is really going to matter. I want other students to have an opportunity for a St. Ambrose education."
Although endowed gifts can impact brick-and-mortar projects, academic programming and research, and, in some cases, even help to purchase books and computers, the essential truth is that every dollar loyal alumni and valued friends of St. Ambrose dedicate to the institution ultimately will impact students.
The endowment fund at St. Ambrose has quintupled since 1999 and undergraduate enrollment has grown as well. From his seat on the board, Broderick can see how increasingly interdependent those two areas of growth have become.
"Since I have been on the board, I read the news differently," he said. "Before, I didn't read about college admission rates or the cost of higher education or the increasing indebtedness of students. A college education is really becoming out of reach for a lot of American families.
"And I really believe in the value of a college education."
That is why he is joining the growing number of friends of St. Ambrose who are endowing scholarships and helping grow the endowment fund - to ensure and assist future generations of Ambrosians.
Well over half of St. Ambrose's 80-plus endowed scholarships were added in the past five years, with another 20-plus estate-based endowed scholarships pending.
For many students, scholarship assistance opens a door to opportunities they weren't sure they could experience. Senior biology major Jennifer Rushton plans to follow Broderick into the medical profession as an applicant for the first cohort of SAU's new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. She likened the scholarship help she received as an undergraduate to finding "light in a dark room."
Endowment donors such as Dan Broderick believe the opportunity to gain a St. Ambrose education is a light that never should be dimmed.