Mount Marty College’s (MMC) school year is off to an eventful start.
On Wednesday, MMC held its annual Mission Day, which included students for the first time. At the morning Mass, with Mission Day participants present, Sacred Heart Monastery Prioress Sister Penny Bingham announced that the monastery will put money into 80 new endowment funds of $10,000 each.
“Part of our mission is to help with the education of the people in our area, and MMC is a great way to provide that Catholic, liberal arts education,” Bingham told the Press & Dakotan. “Our Sisters have also benefited from the college’s presence. We get new life and energy from students, staff and faculty. We want to give that back in a continual process.”
The 80 funds are in honor of MMC’s 80th anniversary.
“We thought it’d be a fantastic way to celebrate that and for the Sisters, as well as the donors, to commit to the future of the college and make it a more accessible place for students,” MMC Vice President for Advancement Barb Rezac said.
The 80 new funds will provide a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship to a MMC student beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Individuals can also be a part of it by contributing a minimum of $15,000 to a single fund. In turn, they will be able to name the fund and dictate which type of students can receive it.
“What better way to promote and keep going the good mission of MMC?” Bingham remarked.
MMC President Marcus Long agrees with her.
“These scholarships will help us prepare even more future leaders for their careers and lives of learning,” he said. “We are enormously grateful for the legacy the Sisters have founded and continue at MMC. Their faith, support, generosity and prayers have lifted up generations of students, faculty, staff and alumni, and these new scholarship endowments will help continue that for years to come.”
Those who choose to contribute to the funds will have a five-year period to provide the money they’ve pledged.
“This will hopefully encourage greater participation by everyone in the area,” Bingham said. “We can’t do it alone.”
According to Rezac, almost 30 people have expressed interest in contributing to the scholarships, which leave almost 50 funds left that need donors. She hopes to have all the funds spoken for by the end of the year.
“Scholarships are an integral part of recruiting new students to MMC and to Yankton,” Dean of Enrollment Stephanie Moser said. “MMC plays such a significant role in the growth of Yankton, and we are grateful for community members, partners and friends that support our efforts in bringing more young people to campus and to the community.”
In total, the monastery has given $2,250,000, portion of which has gone towards the 80 endowment funds. The rest will go towards future MMC building projects.
“We’ve made this commitment because we believe in the college’s mission and community,” Bingham said.
Dan Specht, chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, sees these endowment funds as the next step in the college’s partnership with the monastery.
“The action shown with this gift is a testament to their belief in the mission, the leadership, faculty, staff and students,” he said. “The Board of Trustees will work diligently with the Sisters in growing the great gift of MMC in this community.”
Bingham is glad the monastery can help MMC in such a beneficial way.
“We are grateful to be able to provide this gift for these students and the future of Mount Marty College,” she said.
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