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Montrose Stories

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Lisa McMurtrie W'93 Back to Top

As an alumna who truly valued my Notre Dame experience, I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to the University than to include Notre Dame in my estate plans.

I believe it is a privilege and honor for alumnae to create a legacy gift that will help to sustain the University so that it may continue to enrich and change the lives of future generations of students.


Sallie Mullen ’68 Back to Top

sallie mullenMany years after I’d graduated from college and was working my way up the ranks of the civil service, I realized the extent to which the education I received at Notre Dame contributed to my success. My language degree was my ticket into the National Security Agency; my expository writing skills labeled me the "go to" person whenever a complex paper or briefing was required; and my analytical skills led me to a satisfying career as an intelligence analyst and manager of analysts within the Intelligence Community.

But most of all, the intellectual curiosity and self-confidence instilled in me at NDMU opened doors in my career that might otherwise have been closed to me. Who, for example, would have believed that I — a French major with no technical background — would become an expert in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? I had the confidence to open the door marked "detour," and it proved a route to success.

Since returning to Baltimore four years ago, I’ve found myself drawn to the University. I’m proud of the contribution it makes to the community, the diversity of the current student population, and the extended opportunities available to today’s students. Participating in the reunion committee for my class’s 45th and in the First Impressions Program has enabled me to get back in touch with NDMU, my classmates, and the current student body. Sister Kathleen Feeley, whose vision helped launch NDMU on its path to success, was my homeroom teacher in sophomore year of high school and oversaw the college newspaper, of which I was a page editor. A more energetic and gifted teacher I’ve never known! And Dr. Soria, who was the head of the Modern Language Department in my time, instilled in me a love of everything Italian that has played a huge role in my life. I believe she would have been proud of me last year when I embarked on my "senior year abroad," living for 10 months near Florence and studying Italian and art history. After all, when I graduated, she gave me an espresso pot!

NDMU has made a significant difference in my life, not least because of the half-scholarships it offered me for four years, without which college would not have been in the cards for me. But also because it underpinned my career and helped shape my lifelong love of European travel. For all that NDMU did for me and in honor of Sister Kathleen and Dr. Soria, I’ve decided to make a legacy bequest to the university. It seems the least I can do!


Donna Ringger Easton ’70 Back to Top

I am a Montrose Society member who supports the mission and long-term vision of the Society because it reflects my respect for the outstanding education I received at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland many years ago. I came to Notre Dame to study English and creative writing under the remarkable tutelage of Sister Maura Eichner. My high expectations were surpassed, not only by Sister Maura’s teaching but by that of the entire faculty at Notre Dame. The English department was a close-knit and highly challenging group of faculty and students. Every member raised the bar, and also supported the reach for everyone else.

Today, as a trustee and continuing supporter of our great Notre Dame of Maryland University, I understand the importance of giving back so that others can enjoy the same outstanding education I received. Becoming a member of the Montrose Society means a great deal to me and to my husband John. We thoughtfully considered how to best make a meaningful difference in the lives of future students, and determined that including Notre Dame in my will was the most lasting way to do that. So now, in addition to supporting the Annual Fund each year and the important capital campaigns that fund specific campus goals, we know we will be contributing to the University for years and years to come—a very good feeling indeed!

My broader education at Notre Dame gave me the skills in critical thinking, social consciousness, and communication that formed the base for my professional and personal success long after graduation. I know that I would not be the person I am today without the skills, encouragement and confidence I found in my undergraduate years at this remarkable institution.


Chris O’Keefe Marsalek ’69, M’00 Back to Top

marsalekIn the spring of my junior year in high school, my dad suffered a fatal heart attack. The impact on our small family was devastating. Suddenly, our lives changed in ways we never anticipated. The dream of a college education, let alone at a Catholic institution, became uncertain, until a visit to Notre Dame's campus. As my mother, tears in her eyes, shared our family situation with the Sister accompanying us, she dared to hope that I would continue my education there after graduation.I was offered a work-study position by the college and, by the end of the academic year, I was awarded outside scholarships which paid for my entire tuition the remaining years. Later, encouraged by my daughter who was then a student at Notre Dame, and energized by the school's commitment to empowering women, I pursued my master's degree. Now, as a financial advisor, l am privileged to share what I have learned.

While it is not always easy to see what has influenced us in life, I know that at an early age I was taught an appreciation and love of learning by my mother. This, fostered by Notre Dame, has lead to a desire to be a continuous learner. I am presently studying to become a licensed Series 65 Investment Advisor and plan to sit for the exam next month.

As members of the Montrose Society, my husband, Stephen, and I chose to make a legacy gift to the University's scholarship program as a way to continue the opportunity that was given to our family. We were blessed that our daughter, Christy Sommerville ’95, chose to attend Notre Dame as a Morrissy Scholar and was awarded a Presidential scholarship. My sister, Jean Clemens Meconi W’95, graduated from the Weekend College with a degree in marketing that has served her well in her field and as the former General Manager of Urbanite. Three women from the same family, three different areas of study, all benefitting from the dedication and vision of those who teach and lead at Notre Dame, now University!


Kathleen Bennett ’67 Back to Top

The education that I received at Notre Dame helped prepare me for a career in public service. The School Sisters of Notre Dame were wonderful teachers, inspiring me and my fellow students to realize our full potential. Legacy giving is a good way to honor their commitment to education and to ensure the future of NDMU.

It has been very gratifying to return to the campus as a member of the Renaissance Institute, where I continue to "learn for life."


Edith McParland Donohue, Ph.D. ’60 Back to Top

Notre Dame provided me with an outstanding education; opportunities for personal growth and leadership; wonderful friends among students, faculty and staff; and formed me into a life-long learner. My experiences as a student, alumna, volunteer, staff person and parent of two graduates of Notre Dame were so outstanding that it has affected my life in many wonderful ways. When my husband and I planned our legacy gifts, we both agreed—with very little discussion—that Notre Dame would be a beneficiary of our estate. We hope that the wonderful education and opportunities at Notre Dame will continue into the future for students. So we trust that our gift, in some small way, will help to make that possible.


Julie Ben-Susan ’69 Back to Top

montrose ben-susanWhen we were in school ‘Veritas’ seemed pretty amorphous. Now, after my forty-plus years in the rough and tumble real world of Wall Street, the International Longshoreman’s Union, local politics and spin masters, I have come to appreciate ‘Veritas’ surrounded by words like courage, context, common sense, intent and just plain old truth.

That is why Paul and I committed to include Notre Dame in our wills, became a member of the Montrose Society, and have been working closely with this wonderful volunteer, staff and management partnership for the past year.

Thank you, Notre Dame!


Susan Mitchell ’80 Back to Top

susan mitchellI have chosen to support NDMU with a legacy gift simply because my Notre Dame education is the foundation upon which I have built my life. Every single day, whether in a professional, interpersonal, spiritual, ethical or intellectual way, I am informed by what I was privileged enough to receive during my four years at Notre Dame. A Notre Dame education uniquely enriches her students and by extension, the individuals those students encounter in life.

In some small way I trust my legacy gift may, to paraphrase Sr. Maura, “…gather into streams that fountain other streams forever.”


Suzi Peters Coy ’60 Back to Top

My Notre Dame education provided a broad foundation through exposure to various disciplines and prepared me well for advanced academic studies. My mother, a graduate of the Class of 1931, instilled in me a love of learning. She was a strong supporter of and tireless volunteer for Notre Dame. It is through this legacy gift intention that I honor and remember my mother’s love of Notre Dame. Through volunteering at Notre Dame I honor my mother’s legacy as well.


Ruth Luddy Toro, M.D. '60 Back to Top

I am grateful for the excellent, well-rounded education I received to prepare me for medical school, at a time when not many women entered medical school. I truly value the camaraderie of and friendships made with classmates and faculty.

As a graduating senior I was very grateful to receive the Alumnae Scholarship (of $500) from the College. Medical school was a significant expense and with this scholarship I purchased a microscope. Additionally, I received a partial scholarship for tuition from the College, which amounted to 1/4 of my tuition at that time. It didn’t seem significant to me; however, my parents were appreciative of the contribution. For these reasons I created a legacy bequest intention for NDMU.

Legacy giving is very important to the future of NDMU. Unrestricted current use funds are always necessary, and it is best to let leadership determine where the contributions will make the greatest impact for the institution.


Jeanne Morris Jones ’50 Back to Top

Notre Dame changed my life! My education prepared me for a career in social work. I am grateful for the many dear friendships I developed as a student at Notre Dame. Many of these same friendships endure today. Harvey and I created an endowed scholarship to allow others to have the same Notre Dame experience which I enjoy. Harvey and I want to pass it on.