Abbot Neal
June 30, 2016

LACEY, Wash. – A cohort of four incoming Saint Martin’s University students has been named as the first recipients of the University’s new Abbot Scholarships.

The scholarships honor Abbot Oswald Baran, O.S.B., Saint Martin’s first abbot and chancellor, who directed the school from its opening in 1895 until his death in 1928, and Abbot Neal Roth, O.S.B., its current abbot and chancellor. They are awarded to seniors graduating from Catholic high schools in Washington who have shown one or more of Saint Martin’s four core values – faith, reason, community and service – in their lives. The scholarships are full-tuition, need-based awards, renewable for four years.

“The Abbot Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for those who have started their education at a Catholic High school to be able to continue to develop their faith and their commitment at Saint Martin's,” said Pam Holsinger-Fuchs, the University’s dean of enrollment. “As we launch this inaugural cohort of scholars we are excited about the gifts and talents they will bring to our campus.  The group will be working on a variety of projects under my supervision and I am excited to get to know them and watch them grow and flourish.”

Abbot Scholarship recipients for the 2016-17 academic year are:

  • Pablo Rodriguez, College Place, a graduate of DeSales High School in Walla Walla. Pablo played three sports for DeSales and was active in student government, Campus Ministry and Knowledge Bowl. He plans to take a pre-professional program in medicine.
  • Leslie Maya, Kennewick, a graduate of Tri Cities Prep in Pasco. Leslie is active in martial arts and was a member of her school’s BASIC Club and Recycling Club. She volunteers at Kennewick’s St. Joseph Church and has served as an escort at Lourdes. She plans to take a pre-professional program in medicine.
  • Savannah Schilperoort, Yakima, a graduate of LaSalle High School in Yakima. Besides having one of the top GPAs in her class, Savannah served as captain of LaSalle’s cross country team and was active in student government, Campus Ministry and Student Life Leadership. She also was chosen as a participant on a service immersion trip to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. She plans to take a pre-professional program, with the eventual goal of becoming an athletic trainer.
  • Saul Garrola, Centralia, a graduate of Pope John Paul II High School in Lacey. Saul has excelled academically and was chosen as the speaker for an event hosted by the Fulcrum Foundation, a Seattle-based foundation that supports Catholic education. He also was a speaker for a school gala to raise funds for the foundation. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 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 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For more information:
Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Ph.D.
Dean of Enrollment

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications