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The Power Of Connections

New $500,000 Public Health Gift Increases Campaign Support of Internship and Research Opportunities to Over $3 Million

Since St. Lawrence University launched The Campaign for Every Laurentian, more than $3 million in gifts and commitments, including a new $500,000 fund for public health, have been raised to support student internships and research. Investing in student opportunities is a key component of a St. Lawrence education, because the best way to seek a more thorough understanding of the world is through real-life experiences.

Through the Campaign, Laurentians are supporting all learning and growth, ranging from in-depth exploration inside a public health lab working on the opioid crisis to bold internship experiences at the Brookings Institution that focus on the African Security Initiative. More than 20 funds focused on experiential learning opportunities have been established since the start of the Campaign, and nearly 100 students have benefited from them.

“The overwhelming support for experiential learning during the first years of the Campaign has been inspiring, including this most recent gift of $500,000 to support opportunities with a public health focus,” said Vice President for University Advancement Thomas R. Pynchon. “It shows great enthusiasm and interest in funding opportunities that enable our students to ask broader, more complex questions during their research and pursue new experiences through internships.”

Seventy percent of recent graduates took part in at least one internship during their undergraduate career. Of those, more than a third did not receive any financial support, which meant often working to pay for their living expenses while interning. St. Lawrence aspires to empower every student who seeks an internship opportunity to receive one, while simultaneously providing them with institutional financial support. Over the last three years, dozens of visionary Laurentians have established and supported funds that are helping St. Lawrence get closer to that goal:  

  • Part of the recently announced $15 million gift to St. Lawrence includes a $500,000 endowment for a public health internship program that makes 10 internship or research fellowship opportunities available annually. The University’s goal is to award funds to the first group of students during the next academic year.
  • Thanks to generous anonymous funding, four St. Lawrence students have completed extended summer internships at the Brookings Institution, working alongside some of the top scholars and students in the world.  These internships have resulted in published research articles with student co-authors, and provided key professional development opportunities leading to a post-graduate placement with the Peace Corps in Zambia and graduate school placements in MBA and international relations programs.
  • Nearly $340,000 has been raised for the Alumni Executive Council Endowment for Internships and Experiential Learning, which supports students who have secured an internship, including structured career development or research opportunities during the summer. Four students benefited since the summer of 2018.
  • In 2015, a fund was established by Daniel '89 and Cynthia Brindisi P'19 that now has commitments totaling $270,000, and supports students with financial need. Their gift has helped 25 students in the first three years take part in internships.  
  • The Donovan Family Internship Fund was established in 2016 by Patricia C. Donovan P'86. This $250,000 fund supports the St. Lawrence University Public Interest Corps (SLU PIC). To date, more than 30 students representing 19 academic programs have participated in internships at partner organizations, whose missions include promoting watershed conservation, alleviating food insecurity, and showcasing traditional crafts and folklore.
  • A $250,000 commitment created the Stewart's Shops and Dake Family Internship Fellowship Fund in 2017, which provides financial help to students who are participating in internships and have financial need. It was first awarded to 14 students during the summer of 2018.
  • In 2019, Kiki Tauck Mahar ’91 and Dan Mahar ’88 created a $200,000 internship fund to help students with a demonstrated financial need. This reinforced their belief that real-world work experiences are an important piece to success after college.
  • The Hazel Northrup Hyde '21, M'42 University Fellowship Endowment was established in 2017 by Virginia Moriarty P’80, ’91, in her mother’s honor. This fund supports students who are undertaking a research project in the areas of English or education. A recipient has completed a University Fellowship project each year since 2017.
     
  • Established in 2016 by Michael and Anne Moran P'16, a $100,000 fund has supported 19 students with financial need who are participating in the Internship Fellowship program.

All of the gifts support The Campaign for Every Laurentian, the largest comprehensive fundraising initiative in the more than 160-year history of St. Lawrence University. With a goal of $225 million, the Campaign targets four priorities: Endowing Our Future, Learning for the 21st Century, the Power of Connections, and Campus Stewardship as well as continued support for the St. Lawrence Fund. The Campaign now has nearly $150 million in gifts and commitments.

Experiential learning is part of the Power of Connections priority and is essential to the University’s efforts to strengthen the extensive Laurentian network, which enables students to harness their unique potential and contribute to their communities and the world.