Society of Mont-Saint-Michel
Established in 1998, in concert with the Visions Campaign, the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel recognizes individuals, companies, and foundations who have given in excess of $250,000 in support of the College. Donors are recognized for all gifts to the College, whether to the Saint Michael’s Fund, endowed or term scholarships, endowed funds, temporarily restricted funds, or capital projects.
This giving society is named in honor of the famed abbey in Mont-Saint-Michel, France. The Society of Saint Edmund served as caretakers for the abbey from 1867 to 1886. Just as the Edmundites served as caretakers of the abbey, Saint Michael's College considers members of the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel caretakers of the College.
This past summer the College was pleased to induct six new members to the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel. We welcomed the Conways and Mr. Albert during some small family gatherings in late summer. Gary '63 and Jane Farrell and Don Dion, Jr '76 were inducted during Reunion 2013. We are deeply grateful for each new member's contributions and investments in Saint Michael's future.
James and Grace Conway P'79
James and Grace are connected to Saint Michael’s in a multitude of ways. As parents of Michael ’79 and Ruth ’83, they started out as engaged parents in 1975. James went on to serve as a member of the College’s Board of Trustee from 1983 – 1989. After his tenure on the Board, James and Grace continued their support as leadership donors. In 1991, as part of the Saint Michael’s Campaign, the Conways first envisioned and began funding The James and Grace Conway Scholarship, supporting students from the Lowell, Massachusetts area. When James passed away in December 1992, the scholarship had not yet been awarded, but he knew that Conway Scholars would soon receive the lifetime gift of a Saint Michael’s education. Grace has continued their shared vision of assisting students, building the Conway Scholarship through leadership gifts during the Doors and Visions campaigns and annual gifts. To date, The James and Grace Conway Scholarship has provided generous financial aid grants to more than a dozen students, supporting them from their earliest campus years through their walk across the Commencement stage, Saint Michael’s diplomas in hand. We thank James and Grace for their sustained support that has changed, and will continue to change, so many students’ lives.
Paul J. Albert '54
At Saint Michael’s, Paul was a Biology major and an avid outdoorsman. After graduating in 1954, he headed into pharmacology, launching his first pharmacy in the early 1960’s and later developed a chain of pharmacies that he would eventually sell to CVS. A lifelong resident of Westbook, Maine, Paul was known for being a devoted family man and an engaged and active member of the business community and his local parish. In addition to his passion interests in traveling and sailing, including several trans-Atlantic voyages from Maine to Europe, Paul also found time to support his alma mater. He served on the Alumni Board of Directors from 1992 to 1995 and was active in organizing several of his class reunions as a Reunion Committee member, joining the Golden Knights at his 50th Reunion. After his passing in October 2011, the College learned that Paul had reserved his largest gift to the College for his estate, a bequest to support Saint Michael’s highest-priority needs. While we did know his intentions to be able to thank him in person, Paul knew that his estate would support the next generation of Saint Michael’s students. With his posthumous induction into the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel and the Heritage Circle, we celebrate Paul’s lifetime commitment to this College.
Gary '63 and Jane Farrell
Inducted as Golden Knight this year, Gary has contributed to the campus community as an engaged alumus, Trustee emeritus, and Reunion Co-Chair (including his 50th this year). In addition to his Mont-Saint-Michel induction, Gary is also a 1993 Alumnus of the Year award recipient, and a 1999 honorary doctorate recipient. Gary and Jane's philanthropy to Saint Michael's is extenstive; having supported each of the last four capital campaigns. In 2000, they established the Gary and Jane Farrell Endowed Scholarship to support Vermont students attending Saint Michael's. They also supported the recently established DiVenere Family Scholarship and this year, with the help of Ed Dilworth '63 and other classmates, established the Class of '63 Memorial Scholarship in memory of their deceased classmates.
Don Dion '76
Don's support of Saint Michael's began within a year of his graduation and he has been generous ever since. In 2001 he established the Don Dion Jr. Endowed Scholarship to support students with financial need. He followed up in 2009 by establishing the Dion Family Foundation Term Scholarship to assist students from his his high school, St. Dominic's Regional High School in Maine. Recently, Don established the Don Dion Edmundite Campus Ministry Support Fund to be used at the discretion of the Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry to support students in times of need. In April 2012, Don made his first of many leadership gifts to the Quad Commons project and challenged his fellow trustees to follow his lead.