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Aquinas College receives $2m gift to kick off 125th year celebration

July 19, 2011 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Aquinas College is off to a great start with its 125th anniversary goal to establish 125 new endowed scholarships by June 30, 2012 thanks to a $2 million donation from the family of Peter Secchia. The donation was announced to faculty and staff recently by outgoing president C. Edward Balog, Ph.D.

In recognition of the private Catholic Dominican college’s quasquicentennial year, it hopes to engage families with multiple members who have attended Aquinas or families who have a special interest in Aquinas by establishing 125 Family Legacy Scholarships to help reach this goal.

Approximately 23% of Aquinas College students are recipients of endowed scholarships.

“It is our hope that half of the proceeds will be directed to provide permanent support for Aquinas' new "Study in Rome" program, a city dear to our family,” said Joan Secchia. “It makes us happy to be able to help future students receive a quality education at Aquinas College.”

“Scholarships are an essential resource in higher education,” said Dr. Balog, who officially retired on June 30. “The Secchia family’s gift will make pursuing a college degree more affordable for students, which, in turn, results in higher student enrollments and greater opportunities for achieving the mission of educating our youth.”

“This is a historic beginning for the Family Scholarship Campaign which will provide a sustainable source of funding for scholarships,” said Cecilia Cunningham, Director of Major Gifts at Aquinas College. “Endowed scholarships provide a unique opportunity to ensure a scholarship reflects the spirit and intent of the donor. Naming an endowed scholarship also offers the possibility to honor an individual, family or organization important to the donor,” said Cunningham.