Loyola Magazine

Brightening the future

Endowed scholarships transform lives

After her father died during Caroline Cawley’s first year at Loyola, the New Jersey native was burdened not only with the pain of losing a parent, but also with worries about how she could afford to stay at Loyola.

On top of tuition and other expenses, Caroline’s family faced outstanding medical bills and other debts from her father, who had suffered medical disabilities.

Much-needed assistance came when Caroline was named the recipient of a $3,000 Margaret H. Bruder and Margaret E. Harron Scholarship, one of more than 100 new endowed scholarships formed through the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts comprehensive campaign.

“When we found out I had received the scholarship, we were so relieved and so grateful and excited,” said the 19-year-old Global Studies major. “It helped us move forward.”

Receiving the scholarship allowed Caroline to focus on her studies and get more involved in clubs and extracurricular activities, she said.

The sophomore is the director of communications for the campus radio station, WLOY, a student ambassador for Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, a weekly volunteer at the Refugee Youth Project, and community service and involvement coordinator for the Peace and Justice Club.

“This scholarship was truly a blessing,” she said, noting that her mother is an immigrant from Mexico who came to the United States to further her own education. Seeing education as the key to her daughter’s future, she has worked three jobs to help put her daughter through college.

“I cannot thank my donors enough for how they’ve helped me and my mom,” Caroline said.

Brian Oakes, ’99, MBA ’10, assistant vice president for advancement, said one of the major goals of the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign was to raise $50 million for the endowment—$25 million of which would go to endowed scholarships. More than $32 million has been raised for scholarships.

“The fact that we exceeded our goal for scholarships is probably the most dramatic highlight of the campaign’s success,” said Oakes, pointing out that the campaign has more than doubled the number of endowed scholarships at Loyola.

The new scholarships are pegged to the interests of donors. They include scholarships for student-athletes, students in specific academic disciplines, first-generation students, and students from specific regions of the country.

The minimum to start a named, endowed scholarship is $50,000.

“What I am struck by the most is the cyclical nature of scholarship giving at Loyola,” said Shannon H. Pote, director of donor engagement. “Many of our scholarships are established by alumni or former parents who are grateful for the outstanding experience they or their children received while attending this university.”

Pote said several students from Puerto Rico, whose families’ financial situations have changed dramatically in the wake of Hurricane Maria, are among those helped by the scholarships.

Mark L. Lindenmeyer, ’77, MBA ’82, vice president for enrollment management and communications, said endowed scholarships are a critical component of Loyola’s institutionally-funded academic scholarships and need-based grant programs.

“These awards allow us to reward and recognize our student’s academic performance and leadership,” he said, “and for students who demonstrate financial need, these awards assist in closing the gap in meeting Loyola’s total cost of attendance.”

Matthew Cannon, a 20-year-old junior from New Jersey, was the recipient of a $5,000 Mary T. and Joseph M. Linnane Scholarship.

“Without that scholarship,” Matthew said, “I don’t think I would be here.”

Matthew noted that financial pressures on his family increased after his older brother, Scott, graduated from Loyola last year.

“I wasn’t aware that it is a policy of the national government that when you have two dependents in a family at the same time, they both end up receiving a more significant amount of aid,” he explained. “Since there weren’t two of us in an undergraduate program, I lost financial aid.”

Being active in Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice introduced Matthew to social justice issues. He has volunteered in an after-school program at Govans Elementary School and tutored students in math and reading at Walter P. Carter Elementary School, both in Baltimore.

An accounting major, Matthew plans to shift gears after graduation and pursue a law degree. He hopes to work in civil rights, human rights, children’s rights, or possibly environmental law.

“I want to try to help as many people as I can through the legal system,” said Matthew, director of diversity for Loyola’s Student Government Association. “Loyola has helped me see the systemic issues that affect the community. I want to help change things for the better.”