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Public Invited to Join University of Mary for Giving Hearts Day 2021

SPECIAL TO DEVILS LAKE  JOURNAL

Donations on Feb. 11 go to students and scholar-athletes in honor of those who served during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

BISMARCK— Receiving a scholarship is often the determining factor in whether a student attends the university of their choice and is then able to follow his or her career dreams once they graduate. An astounding 100 percent of University of Mary’s incoming students receive scholarships. That’s all made possible thanks to alumni, community members, friends and families of the University of Mary, generous donors and benefactors.

One of the most popular ways to give to this wonderful cause and help Mary students is through the upcoming Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, February 11. People can go to umary.edu/givinghearts and contribute on Feb. 11, or go to the website now and schedule their gift for that day. This is the largest regional giving day in the Midwest. Last year, the University of Mary raised over $30,000 and their goal this year is to surpass that number. All gifts made to Mary will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000.

On Feb. 11, donations will go to one of three scholarship funds at Mary. To honor the heroic service of teachers and health care workers during the pandemic, the University of Mary is raising funds to support scholarships for students in those degree programs. Now more than ever, the University of Mary sees how essential these professions are to our world, and we aim to encourage more students to serve in these vocations and to educate the next generation of leaders in these fields. Additionally, many scholar-athletes' worlds were turned upside down with the cancellation of competition due to the pandemic. By raising money for athletic scholarships through the Marauders Armada, we will ensure all scholar-athletes have the opportunity to continue their athletic and educational careers an additional year if they desire to do so.

University of Mary’s Marley Foltz, a junior nursing major from Minot, North Dakota, has aspirations of being an RN (registered nurse) and then potentially return to school for an advanced practice degree.

“Upon my application and acceptance to Mary, I was offered a very generous scholarship,” added Foltz. “This made the prospect of attending a private, Catholic university a far more realistic concept. As a nursing student at the University of Mary, I have access to incredible professors, clinical opportunities, and skills and simulation labs that help me to hone my abilities that will help me to be the best nurse I can. Generous donations have made getting a healthcare degree at the University of Mary a reality for myself and countless others.”

Foltz is able to be part of the Nursing Student Association (NSA) and Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) while attending Mary. However, for Foltz, attending the University of Mary has been more than just gaining technical skills to be a future career professional. It’s about fulfilling goals, turning dreams into reality, and personal growth.

“I could not be more grateful to the University of Mary for the way it has formed me as a person, student, and future professional,” said Foltz. “I have grown in both my faith and friendships during my time here. The education is not just a focus on technical skills, but on formation as a whole person. The Benedictine values are instituted into all aspects of the university and help each member of the student body to become their best selves. While the scholarships provided through Giving Hearts Day donations are always extremely beneficial and appreciated, never more so than this year. In a year where healthcare professionals are in high demand, having access to affordable and complete education is a major advantage for Mary students.”

University of Mary’s athletic scholarships come from donors and game-ticket sales that fund the Marauders Armada. Unfortunately, COVID-19 caused all NCAA fall-season sports activities to be cancelled, and the winter sports season to be shortened, preventing fans from attending many or all of the events. With COIVID-19 protocols and limits on the number of fans permitted to attend the sporting events, the University of Mary waived game admittance costs for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. That substantial loss in ticket-sales revenue has drastically curtailed scholarship funds for Marauders athletes.

All of the Marauders athletes are grateful for the continued financial support during these difficult times. University of Mary All-American wrestler Phillip Springsteen is pursuing his career in electrical engineering after receiving his bachelor’s degree last year. His parents expected their son to earn his own way through college. Not only has he succeeded with that endeavor, the Graham, WA, native is now enrolled in Mary’s online master’s program studying project management while working for Arizona-based Raytheon where he hopes to someday land a leadership role.

“Without scholarships through the Marauders Armada I would never have been able to attend the University of Mary and I'm sure there are many others who'd say the same,” added Springsteen. “The experiences I've had and knowledge I've acquired in my time at Mary are priceless, but without scholarships I would never have had those opportunities. This past year I've lost family members and a few close family friends and watched the 2020 national tournament and my dreams of a championship taken out from under me in an instant. But I've also graduated and started off on the career of my dreams and have seen fellow Marauders come together and support each other through this troubling time. It’s definitely been quite a year to say the least. But I eagerly accept challenging opportunities to intellectually grow and gain experience.”

Springsteen added, he plans to volunteer as a high school wrestling coach as he aspires to be a positive role model and influence on others — just like his mentors provided guidance that allowed him to achieve great success in the classroom, on the mat, and now in the workforce.

“I am deeply thankful for the fans who create such an exciting and rowdy atmosphere at our home matches and blessed for the continued financial contributions made to fund not only my scholarship, but all Marauders athletes.”

Giving Hearts Day is a 24-hour fundraising event for charities in North Dakota. Since the first event in 2008, donors have given more than $90 million, 100 percent goes directly to participating charities — which includes the University of Mary.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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