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Scholarship gift for woman attending Catholic college

Members of the Trinity College Class of 1968 will celebrate their 50th reunion this year and to enhance the celebration will present a one-time gift of $4,000 to a Catholic woman attending an accredited Catholic college or university. 
 
“While we came from different backgrounds and different educations … we had three things in common,” noted class member Mary Cheney of Charlotte. “We were women; we chose to pursue/attain an undergraduate degree; we chose to pursue this degree at a Catholic College.”
 
Trinity College in Burlington was a small, Catholic women’s liberal arts college founded by the Sisters of Mercy. It closed in 2001, but the Trinity College of Vermont Association of Alumni and Friends remains active.
 
“We are looking for a woman [to receive the gift] who is a reflection of ourselves 50 years ago,” said Carol Lyons Muller of Hinesburg, another member of the Class of 1968. “We wanted this gift to go to another woman who was reminiscent of ourselves.”
 
The objective of the gift is to encourage Catholic women to pursue their undergraduate degree within the community of a Catholic institution of higher education.
 
“The Catholic education came complete with excellent academics plus a phrase that we heard over and over [from the Sisters of Mercy]: ‘Don’t forget who you are and what you represent,’” Muller said.
 
Graduating high school seniors or adult students attending a post-secondary school for the first time are eligible for the gift. Candidates do not need to be from Vermont, and the school does not need to be in Vermont. 
 
The gift will be for the 2018-2019 academic year.
 
The $4,000 will come from Class of 1968 donors. “At our 45th reunion, about 20 of us were having dinner in downtown Burlington and talked about making the 50th a really big splash,” Muller said. “We decided then to raise money for a class gift. By the end of dinner we had about $300 seed money, and it has grown from there.”
 
Contributions have come from the class members, and in one case, from the brother of a deceased class member. 
 
The majority of the Class of 1968 received some form of financial aid from Trinity College; many of them were the first generation of their family to attend college. “We matured at Trinity; it gave us a solid foundation on which to build our adult lives,” Muller said. “We are heartsick that the school closed, but that’s history now. We want another woman to know that, while we are helping her, someone else helped us. If our dollars can ease her way, perhaps she can pay it forward when she is, as we are now, women ‘of a certain age’ and looking back at what was important.”
 
The application deadline for the gift is April 15.
 
For more information, to obtain an application or to make a monetary contribution, call 802-578-4601.

 
 
 

Obituary: Mary Markle McNamara

Mary M. McNamara died Dec. 16 at the McClure Miller VNA Respite House in Colchester. She was a former executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities Inc.
 
She was born in Burlington on April 7, 1941, the daughter of Ruth (McGovern) Markle and Ralph Markle, both of whom predeceased her. Her husband Dan, whom she married in 1982, predeceased her in 2005. She was also predeceased by her cousin, Judy Moriarty, in 2014.

Mary was educated in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy from kindergarten through college at Mount St. Mary’s elementary and high school and at Trinity College in Burlington. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Trinity College and a master’s in social work from the State University of New York in Albany.
 
She began her social work career at the Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. in 1963, becoming executive director in 1998 and retiring in 2008. After completing her work for the Diocese, she delivered flowers for Chappell's Florist.

She is survived by her sister, Pat Markle, and nephews Josh (Elly), Seth and Ben (Carrie) as well as by extended family and friends.
 
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 11 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel at Mount St. Mary Convent, 100 Mansfield Ave., Burlington. Visitation will be prior to the service beginning at 9.
 
Burial will follow at Resurrection Park in South Burlington. 
 
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