Society of Mont-Saint-Michel Inductions
The College is grateful for the following donors who have supported Saint Michael's College, its students, faculty and staff. Each of the following individuals have been inducted into the Society of Mont-Saint-Michel.
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.
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 '73
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.