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 summer the College was pleased to induct four new members to the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel. We welcomed Everest Smith '56, Marc and Dana vanderHeyden, and the Bergeron Family Foundation during the Reunion '14 Leadership Reception. We are deeply grateful for each new member's contributions and investments in Saint Michael's future.
The Bergeron Family Foundation
To understand and fully recognize the Bergeron Family Foundation, you must first understand the connection Urban “Ben” L. Bergeron, and his wife, Pauline, had with Saint Michael’s. Ben graduated in 1939, was honored as an Alumnus of the Year in 1971, served as a Trustee for nine years, and earned an honorary degree in 1978. Through Ben’s connection with the Gannett Foundation he helped spearhead the establishment of the College’s Journalism Department. In 1998, they also established the Urban L. Bergeron Scholarship which supports deserving Vermont students from Chittenden County. In recognition of their support, Ben and Pauline became Society of Mont-Saint-Michel members in 2000. Yet it was in 2001, that Ben and Pauline established the Bergeron Family Foundation to ensure their philanthropy continued beyond their deaths. In addition to supporting numerous local and national non-profits, the Foundation’s biggest contributions have been to expand the Bergeron Scholarship. Under the leadership of all four children – Paul, Jack, Jane, and Jay – the Foundation committed in 2004, as part of the Visions campaign, to contribute $25,000 every year for the next 10 years to enhance the scholarship’s impact on students. To date, the Bergeron Scholarship has impacted more than a dozen students and currently ranks as the tenth largest endowed scholarship fund. In recognition of the Foundation’s efforts we are pleased to induct them as only the second foundational member of the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Everest “Ev” P. Smith '56
"Ev" is a man of deep faith who found his calling teaching and coaching young people. A Vermont Golden Glove champion boxer, a football player, and a U.S. Marine, Ev used the challenges and lessons from these experiences to mentor students at Edmunds Middle School for 31 years. A proud member of the Class of 1956, Ev made his way through Saint Michael’s while benefitting from the generosity of the Sisters of Religious Hospitaliers, and a special friendship with Sister Irene Duchesneau. In 1958, Ev married the love of his life, Lorriane, and had four children. A longtime supporter of Saint Michael’s athletic programs, he directs his gift to a different team each year. During the Visions Campaign Ev and Lorraine created the Everest P. Smith, Jr. Endowed Scholarship through an estate gift as a way to thank key Edmundites, faculty, and staff who helped him when he was a student here. This scholarship will benefit engaged and involved students, especially those active in Edmundite Campus Ministry. In recognition of Ev and Lorraine’s generosity, the College dedicated the Faith Circle adjacent to the Chapel and Alliot Hall in Ev’s honor during his 50th Reunion in 2006. We thank Ev and Lorriane for their deep faith in Saint Michael’s and their willingness to help students for years to come.
Marc and Dana vanderHeyden
Marc and Dana’s commitment to Saint Michael’s is unparalleled. As President from 1996 to 2007, Marc’s tenure included many accomplishments including making Saint Michael’s 100% residential, the selection to house a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and leading the largest comprehensive campaign to date – Visions: A Campaign of the Saint Michael’s Student. Dana also fully engaged in the campus and greater community, chairing the College’s Centennial celebration in 2004, engaging with alumni and friends on the road, and representing the College on boards and regional organizations including Vermont Public Radio, Burlington City Arts, The VT Symphony Orchestra and the VT Council on World Affairs. Marc and Dana also established the Pontigny Heritage trips to England and France to help faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Society of St. Edmund, better understand our patron saint. The College recognized their cumulative efforts by awarding Marc and Dana honorary doctoral degrees in 2011.
Marc and Dana have also been generous financial benefactors of the College supporting the Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Heritage Winooski, numerous scholarships, the building of the Dion Family Student Center, Edmundite Campus Ministry, Phi Beta Kappa, Fire & Rescue, and of course, the Annual Fund. More recently, their gifts have supported the fund that bares their names – the vanderHeyden Endowment for Fine Arts. We thank them for the indelible mark they left on all of us, their long-standing support of the College and its students, and for their belief that this institution changes students for the better.