“We are honored that this donor, who wished to remain anonymous, chose to create a meaningful legacy by investing in Mount Mercy students and the faith-inspired education they receive on the Hill,” says Mount Mercy University President Christopher Blake. “By making a college education more affordable, these scholarships will create opportunities for all types of students to attend Mount Mercy and achieve a level of academic success wrapped around Mercy values of service to the common good.”
The unrestricted nature of the new scholarships—which will be awarded to “worthy and deserving” students—means that students from diverse backgrounds and with a wide variety of career goals will be helped with tuition expenses. The University expects that the donation will assist 15 or more students annually.
The endowed scholarships were funded by a Charitable Remainder Unitrust that the donor established in 2007. Mount Mercy received the balance of the trust this year after the donor passed away. Unlike annual contributions, endowed funds are invested to provide steady amounts of spendable income over time.
Mount Mercy currently awards scholarships from 175 endowed funds established by donors. For many students, these scholarships open the door to a Mercy education.
“College is expensive, and the fact that I received scholarships is what allowed me to come here,” says Cory Taylor, a junior from Cedar Rapids who was awarded a Lavern and Audrey Busse Endowed Scholarship. “I would have had to reconsider attending Mount Mercy if I hadn’t received my scholarships, and then I would have missed out on so much … the wonderful professors, the small classes and the Academic Center for Excellence, which makes a huge difference for me.”
Scholarships reduce student debt and allow students to choose majors and careers in areas that interest them most, says Scott Baumler, dean of admissions.“Scholarship support helps students access college, and it supports good career planning,” Baumler says. “We want students to pursue their passions. Burdensome debt can narrow career choices, but with solid financial support, students will be better positioned to focus on their skills, interests and service to others.”
The anonymous donor’s desire to make education accessible to talented students mirrors the intentions that established Mount Mercy, says Sr. Shari Sutherland ’71, the University’s executive director for Mercy mission and identity.
“The Sisters of Mercy founded Mount Mercy to unite people with opportunity through education–they wanted no barriers to talent,” says Sutherland. “For more than 80 years, this institution has educated extraordinary young people regardless of race or religion, and has been creative in finding ways to support those with little ability to pay. These new scholarships continue that tradition and commitment to excellence in spirit and Mercy.”
Generations of Mount Mercy University students will benefit from a new $1.2 million endowed scholarship fund established by an anonymous donor. This gift will provide multiple and significant scholarships and increase by 10 percent the University’s endowed scholarship pool.