Meg Mulvaney, shown with a Rwandan boy named Cedric, is now a graduate student in the Teachers for Tomorrow program. After graduating in May, she plans to pursue service-related opportunities before she begins teaching.

Engage ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ in support of service-learning

Tom and Karen Mulvaney have seen first-hand the impact a Saint Mary’s service-learning experience can have on students, starting with their own daughter’s trip to Rwanda during the 2013 Jan Term.

“Rwanda changed me in ways I could have never imagined,” said Marguerite “Meg” Mulvaney ’13. “There is so much hope and love in Rwanda, that it is impossible to not be inspired by the people and everything around you.”

The course, taught by CILSA staff member Ryan Lamberton and Professor James Losi, illustrates how CILSA (Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action) helps faculty shape courses that combine academic and service-learning leadership opportunities for students.

Meg’s parents witnessed the profound effect of her Rwanda experience on her life and, after learning about the benefits of CILSA, decided to create the Mulvaney Family Head, Heart and Hands Endowment Fund, starting with a seed gift of $250,000. But that gift is just the beginning. They have also promised to match gifts to the endowment—up to $50,000 per year over the next five years, for a total of $500,000.

“We hope our gift can expand opportunities for more students, inspire other families to support the program and, overall, help Saint Mary’s students make a positive impact in society,” said Karen Mulvaney.

Through CILSA, students and faculty logged more than 42,000 hours of service during the 2012-13 academic year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics values every hour of service at $21.79, making CILSA’s contribution to the community last year equal to nearly $1 million, and at least $9 million over its 13-year history.

Now, the Mulvaney Fund will enable Saint Mary’s to expand CILSA’s summer outreach programs for students whose class and work schedules during the academic year don’t leave room for their participation in service-learning programs.

The Mulvaney’s gift is a powerful seed, said CILSA Director Marshall Welch. “It will continue to grow as other friends of CILSA provide additional contributions. As a result, this gift and the contributions of others to the Fund will further Saint Mary’s Lasallian mission, our outreach will expand and our student leaders will be empowered,” Welch said. “It is a tremendous thing that Saint Mary’s is trying to achieve, in creating a culture of service in its students,” said Tom Mulvaney. “We wholeheartedly support that effort.”

You can be a part of this effort by joining the Mulvaneys in creating opportunities for students like Meg. Learn more about the Mulvaney Family Head, Heart and Hands Endowment Fund and how to contribute: stmarysca.edu/headhearthands.

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