Remicks pledge $8 million gift for scholarships
WINONA, Minn. — Jack and Mary Ann Remick of Rochester, Minn., were presented with the Saint Mary’s University Heritage Award for Transformational Philanthropy April 12 at the university’s annual Benefactor Recognition Dinner. The Heritage Award recognizes special individuals whose exceptional philanthropy has significantly transformed the university and positioned Saint Mary’s for a second century of excellence in education.
In one demonstration of this extraordinary generosity, it was announced Saturday that the Remicks have committed $8 million to be used for scholarships. This gift — the largest single donation ever pledged to Saint Mary’s — will be directed to the university’s First Generation Initiative. Mary Ann currently serves as chair of the First Generation Initiative advisory board, and the Remicks are long-time supporters of FGI and its Countdown to College program, which prepares first generation high-schoolers for college. Their financial contributions to this program have helped many young students reach their academic dreams.
The Remicks are inspirational champions of education and long-time supporters of Saint Mary’s University. Jack and Mary Ann have served on the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees for a combined 15 years and counting (Jack from 1999 to 2004 and Mary Ann beginning in 2004).
Their true passion lies in making education accessible and affordable for new generations of learners. The two formed the Saint Mary’s University Remick Fellows program in 1998, through which aspiring and current Catholic schoolteachers and administrators receive financial support and encouragement.
“It was Jack’s strong feeling that we started the Countdown to College program to help these kids — who come from challenging backgrounds — prepare for college, and they’ve worked really hard and they’ve done really well,” Mary Ann Remick said. “We really felt that we couldn’t let these kids down. We promised them an opportunity at a good college education. It has been a real joy to watch them become these very competent, capable seniors in high school who can now successfully move on to college.”
“The Heritage Award is only given to those who have exhibited ‘transformational philanthropy.’ There are no other words that could begin to define the work that the Remicks have done at Saint Mary’s. Their gifts ensure that bright young students with economic challenges, but also endless potential, be given the opportunity to excel academically,” Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s, said. “This has been our ongoing dream that every student who has a desire to attend college have the opportunity to do so. We are so very grateful that the Remicks have shared in our educational vision.”
“It really is an honor and a privilege to be given the Heritage Award,” Mary Ann Remick added. “We aren’t alums, but we have come to really love and appreciate Saint Mary’s and the people who are there, and they’ve allowed us to help them dream.”