Saint Martin's University raises nearly $180,000 for scholarships

November 13, 2009

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University raised nearly $180,000 at its annual President’s Gala, which was held at the Great Wolf Lodge on Saturday, November 7. This is the largest amount raised in the event’s four-year history. The President’s Gala is the University’s major fall fundraising event, with the proceeds going to student scholarships, including scholarships for academic merit, athletics, and fine arts talent. The gold sponsors for the gala were America’s Credit Union (ACU) and Chicago Title. The silver sponsors were Assend Dragon Aviation, Batteries Plus, Charles Schwab, Lucky Eagle Casino, Olympia Federal Savings, and Setina Manufacturing Company.

“It is amazing in this economy to see our supporters step up and really show their willingness to help our students,” said Dr. Roy Heynderickx, president of Saint Martin’s University.

The event featured dinner, dancing, live music, and both a silent and live auction. The silent auction included over 100 items and packages up for bid from many local and regional businesses. The live auction included over thirty specialty items including travel packages for Mexico and Kauai, as well as a Seattle Seahawks hotel-stay-and-game package; a Mariners luxury suite-with-catering-for-twenty; and a private tour-and-lunch at Salumi restaurant in Seattle with owner Dino Batali, a Saint Martin’s alumnus. The central live auction item, “Fund a Mind!”, directly raised $38,100 towards scholarships.

Early in the evening, the University also announced the first recipient for the new America’s Service Heroes Scholarship, 1SG John Blue. Sgt. Blue currently serves as Commandant of the Fort Lewis Warrior Training Academy. During his second deployment to Iraq in January 2007, he was injured by an explosively formed projectile resulting in the loss of his right leg below the knee. During his time at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, Blue realized the importance of a post-secondary education. He is pursuing a degree in business administration through Saint Martin's University. The America’s Service Heroes Scholarship rewards uniformed men and women and their family for their dedication as they serve our nation. Major funding of this scholarship is provided by a generous donation from ACU with additional funding provided by Saint Martin’s Board of Trustee Dr. Richard Hecker.

During the event, student president Ahmadou Seck and sophomore Melissa Muñoz Flores also shared stories of how scholarships were crucial in their own pursuit of a higher education. Flores expressed her thanks to the many people who gave their time and effort and donations to help students achieve their dreams: “It truly means all the world to us.”

For more information about the President’s Gala and other fundraising events, please contact Deidre Eaton at 360-486-8885 or Or visit the event website at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of Communications & Marketing
Saint Martin’s University