Alumnus Gifts $1 Million to SMCM for Need-Based Scholarships

Scholarship to Strengthen Partnership between St. Mary's College and St. Mary's Ryken High School

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (February 20, 2012)—Philanthropists Joe and Kathy Garner have provided a gift of $1 million to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The Joseph and Kathleen Garner Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide tuition and supplementary co-curricular support to academically talented, financially challenged students attending St. Mary’s College, with a preference for St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduates.

Joe Garner graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1974 and from Ryken High School (now St. Mary’s Ryken High School) in 1966. Kathy Garner graduated from the University of Maryland and served as a teacher in the St. Mary’s County region. Joe benefitted from an internship as an undergraduate before going on to a successful career at Booz Allen Hamilton, and both he and Kathy understand the value of experiencing other cultures. Thus, the Garners designed the award to also include internship and study-abroad opportunities.

“St. Mary’s College of Maryland has an historic mission to make affordable an academically rigorous program to all students, particularly those with limited financial means,” said President Urgo. “The Garner donation ensures full participation in the liberal arts experience by providing scholarship recipients the opportunity to attend St. Mary’s College and to learn beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It also acknowledges the synergy between our two institutions, building on student academic success at St. Mary’s Ryken High School. The Garner gift as well emphasizes the commitment of St. Mary’s College to the students and families of Southern Maryland.”

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland. St. Mary’s Ryken High School, located on an 87-acre campus on Breton Bay in St. Mary’s County, is a coeducational, secondary school sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers. The high school is a Catholic college preparatory school.

"Our students are graduating into a world that is increasingly global, diverse and changing," said St. Mary's Ryken President Mary Joy Hurlburt. "A St. Mary's Ryken education gives them the values, character and abilities they need as they go on to college, build careers and families, and become leaders in society. An education from St. Mary's College and the study abroad program will continue to grow the passion students have to make a difference and the commitment to give back to their communities. Joe and Kathy Garner are shining examples of respect for and service to St. Mary's County."

The Garners, who were long-time residents of St. Mary’s County before relocating to Florida, were pleased to have the opportunity to offer such an educational award to well-deserving students. “I am excited about the opportunity to link two outstanding St. Mary’s County institutions through our scholarship program. This scholarship will pave the way for some of St. Mary’s County’s best and brightest students to deepen their roots in the community through their St. Mary’s College experience and eventually contribute to the growth and vitality of the community that has meant so much to my family and me,” said Joe Garner. Kathy Garner added, “We intentionally established our scholarship to provide students with a complete experience, void of the need for supplemental loans, so that their education and the experiences that support it, are their focus. We cannot wait to see the differences it will make.”

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