One alma mater to another
Gift from Connie and Gerry Holthaus, ’71, creates new scholarships
A few weeks before Gerry Holthaus graduated from Loyola in 1971, then-President Joseph Sellinger, S.J., invited him to the president’s residence for dinner, eager to provide the accounting major with some advice on how to conduct his personal and professional life.
Fr. Sellinger knew Holthaus, a standout student from East Baltimore’s Archbishop Curley High School and baseball player who attended Loyola on a full academic scholarship, would excel in the business world. He wanted to be sure the promising young man devoted just as much energy to his family life and contributions to the community as he did his career.
Holthaus clearly took Fr. Sellinger’s advice to heart. After many years of consistent support—both financial and through volunteer leadership positions—of Archbishop Curley and Loyola, Holthaus and his wife, Connie, have deepened their commitment to Loyola with a gift of just over $1 million to create two full scholarships. Both offer priority to graduates from the all-male Archbishop Curley, which serves a diverse socioeconomic community. One scholarship is earmarked for Sellinger School students, while the other is for student-athletes.
“We believe that creating opportunity for those who could benefit from a quality education is a good thing, especially for those who might not be able to afford it otherwise. We came from that kind of background, we received scholarships, and they made a difference in our lives,” said Gerry Holthaus, former chairman and chief executive officer and now non-executive chairman of Algeco Scotsman, a leading modular space and storage solutions company. He currently serves as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and previously served as a member of the Sellinger School of Business and Management’s Board of Sponsors. In 2008 he was named the Sellinger School’s Business Leader of the Year.
“We understand the impact that support can have,” said Connie Holthaus, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County graduate. “We were both the first in our families to go to college.”
The scholarships’ emphasis on students from Archbishop Curley aligns with this commitment.
“Archbishop Curley, just as it was in my time, is a school that focuses on families of modest means, and many of its students are still the first ones in their families to go to college,” said Gerry Holthaus. “We’re happy to facilitate this door-opening opportunity for them.”
The second scholarship’s focus on student-athletes also helps the Holthauses connect the past and present. Although Loyola no longer fields an NCAA Division I team in Gerry Holthaus’ sport, baseball, Greyhounds athletics remains near and dear to his heart.
His wife shares his support for Loyola’s teams and student-athletes. “College sports are important, not only for the student-athletes, but for the student body as a whole,” said Connie Holthaus. “Competition is a motivating factor for all students.”
The Holthauses hope the scholarships they have created help the University in its current efforts to attract increasingly talented and diverse students, but also that they support Loyola’s enduring mission of preparing individuals to confront and embrace the challenges and opportunities posed by today’s world.
“We want to support Loyola as it strives to prepare students who leave the University broadly educated, experienced intellectually, armed with an understanding of the world and its challenges and opportunities, and ready to pursue their personal and professional lives, the growth of their family, and their commitments to service and their environment in an ethical way,” said Gerry Holthaus.
It’s a preparation he knows well.
“As I move into my later life—I’m not 30 anymore—and I think about the pieces of the puzzle that made me who I am—my parents, my high school, my college, my family—there is no question that what I experienced at Loyola has continued to have a tremendous influence on my personal and professional life,” he said.