Seton Hill Centennial Campaign for Student Scholarships Surpasses $10 Million Goal

Seton Hill University raised more than $10 million during its Centennial Campaign for Student Scholarships and exceeded the university’s goal of creating or significantly increasing 100 scholarships in honor of the 100th anniversary of its founding as a four-year college in 1918.

In all, $10,028,216 was raised from alumni and friends who created or significantly increased 119 scholarship funds with gifts of $10,000 or more as part of the university’s ongoing commitment to college affordability.

“Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton believed that everyone deserved access to an education – a legacy that our founders, the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, ensured would continue when they founded Seton Hill 100 years ago,” said President Mary C. Finger. “Today, as nearly all of our students receive financial aid and more than 40 percent are the first in their families to attend college, all of us at Seton Hill believed it was critical that we celebrate the historic milestone of the Centennial with a campaign that supports students through scholarships. Our generous donors responded in a powerful way to this important initiative.”

The Centennial Campaign for Student Scholarships officially kicked off its public phase in January 2018 with the announcement of a seven-figure gift from the Verstandig Family Foundation to create The Ruth O’Block Grant Endowed Scholarship Program, named in honor of Seton Hill alumna and Board of Trustees Chair Ruth O’Block Grant. The Verstandigs – Toni, Executive Vice President at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, and her son Grant, Founder and CEO of Rally Health – are the daughter and grandson of Ruth Grant. 

The seven-figure gift from The Verstandig Family Foundation and another from Robert M. Brownlee provided the early momentum for the extraordinary support the scholarship campaign achieved. Gifts came from alumni, Trustees, faculty, staff, parents and longtime friends of the university.

“As Chair of the Centennial Planning Committee for Seton Hill University, I am delighted that my peers as well as faculty, staff, parents and friends of the university have come together in a powerful way to support the Centennial Campaign for Student Scholarships,” said Michele Ridge, former Pennsylvania First Lady and former Seton Hill Board of Trustees Chair. “As a first-generation college graduate, I truly understand the importance of scholarships to help students achieve their dreams. I was pleased to join with a distinguished line of alumni and friends by creating an endowed scholarship through the Centennial Campaign that will benefit future Setonians.”

Seton Hill students Nadia Few of Canonsburg, Pa., and Rachael Cobo of Wilson, N.Y., are both recipients of scholarships that were increased through the Centennial Campaign for Student Scholarships. 

“As the child of a single parent, I was not going to be able to attend Seton Hill without the help of the Class of 1964 Legacy Scholarship that I have received over my four years of study,” said Few, a senior psychology major. “I am forever grateful for the incredible group of women who have helped me along my path to a career in which I hope to be able to improve the lives of other people.”

Cobo, a junior Health Science major and recipient of the Mary and James O’Neil Endowed Scholarship, said, “Neither of my parents earned college degrees but they stressed to my siblings and me the importance of an education. The scholarships I have received at Seton Hill have helped me – and my parents – fill in the gaps between what we can afford and the cost of education. And without the worry about finances, I am able to concentrate on my studies as I prepare myself for graduate school and a career as a Physician Assistant.”

Of the 119 scholarship funds, 75 were newly created through the Centennial Campaign while 44 represent increased gifts of $10,000 or more to existing scholarships. 

While most of the scholarship funds are directed toward student tuition, several were made available to fund student internship, research, study abroad and leadership opportunities. 


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