Saint Martin's College receives large gift from Abbey

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Lacey, Wash. - A $335,000 gift recently given by Saint Martin’s Abbey to Saint Martin’s College will assist the college on several fronts as it grows and develops.

The largest portion of the gift, $280,000, is being paired with a $300,000 Abbey gift made earlier this year to help pay for expansion of existing dining and food-service areas in the college’s Old Main building.

Another portion of the gift, $25,000, consists of a challenge grant that, when matched with a like amount, will help the college’s O’Grady Library connect with ORBIS, a direct-borrowing system among academic libraries in the Northwest.

The remainder of the gift is a grant that will make possible the hiring of an institutional researcher/grant writer and an additional staff member in the college’s Office of Development.

Saint Martin's College is the primary mission of Saint Martin’s Abbey, which also makes its home on the Saint Martin’s campus.

Abbot Neal Roth, O.S.B., who heads the Benedictine abbey, said, “We - the monastic community - look upon ourselves as not only the founders of the college but also the principle supporters of the college. We do this not only through volunteer labors, but through sharing our assets with the college.”

Roth said its latest gift addresses some of the most pressing needs to help the college continue to develop and grow.

Saint Martin’s College President David R. Spangler said, “This is a generous, thoughtful gift. I think it’s very good the Abbey has chosen these areas because it allows the college to continue to move forward to the next level of operational capabilities.”

In recent years, enrollment increases at the college, especially among resident students, has begun to impact areas of the college that serve those students, he said. Saint Martin’s enrollment for fall semester is 965 students, a 4.2 percent increase from fall 2001’s enrollment of 926. Among the most affected areas is the dining room. Its expansion is part of a campus master plan that calls for Old Main to eventually connect with a proposed adjoining student center via the dining and food service areas, he said.

Similarly, expansion of library resources will help more students access materials necessary to do quality research and projects, while the addition of the two positions enable the college’s Office of Advancement to better support college growth.

For more information:
Dr. David R. Spangler
Saint Martin’s College President

Deanna Partlow
Media coordinator/senior editor