Abbey and Old Main
September 29, 2021

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s Abbey has created a $4.6 million matching fund to support gifts that will help grow Saint Martin’s University’s endowment. Shares Abbot Marion Nguyen, O.S.B., Saint Martin’s University chancellor, “Since the beginning, education has been the abbey’s apostolate. We are resolute in this mission to form the minds and hearts of our students. With the matching fund, we want to honor generous benefactors who share and support Saint Martin’s University's work.”

Saint Martin’s Abbey is a community of 21 monks dedicated to a life of prayer and work, education and service. The abbey founded the then Saint Martin’s College in 1895 as an extension of its educational mission. While many of the monks, both priests and brothers, continue to serve Saint Martin’s University in teaching and staff positions, and the abbot continues to serve as the university’s chancellor, other monks assist at parishes and hospitals here in the Pacific Northwest. 

In 2020, Saint Martin's University celebrated its 125th anniversary. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the university was able to keep its Lacey campus open for classes and its residential students, providing a mix of online, blended and in-person instruction. This fall, Saint Martin’s University returned to offering primarily in-person instruction. In August, the university welcomed its largest class of incoming first-year students, and, also, one of its most diverse. Fifty-five percent of its coming students identify as a student of color. Fifty-four percent of this year’s incoming class is first generation: these students are the first in their family to attend college.

“Endowment gifts play a critical role both in terms of scholarship support for our students and in strategic program support in perpetuity,” adds Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D. “Like many colleges and universities, we faced unprecedented challenges over the past year that forced us to examine why we are here and how we can better serve our students. We rallied as a campus and have a renewed commitment to live up to our values of hospitality, community, and stewardship. We have also experienced tremendous interest from prospective students and families. This matching fund will ensure that we continue to strengthen our academic offerings and structures of support while increasing access for current and future Saints.”

“When we learned about this generous gift from the Abbey, we knew we had to lean in,” share Joe HS ’62, ’64 and Betty Alongi. “We established an estate gift along with our regular annual  support. As a Saint Martin’s High School and College alum during the 60’s, this was my home,” adds Joe Alongi. “Our children and grandchildren, along with other family members, also attended, so it is important for our family to pay that forward. We hope this inspires others to join us and the Abbey in growing endowment and supporting students.”

Creating an endowment carries forward the legacy of the donor to current and future generations of students and helps strengthen the mission of educating students at Saint Martin’s University into the future. The Abbey’s match will double any new endowments created through one-time, multiyear or estate commitments. Endowments are fully funded at $25,000 and can be created in a variety of ways. If you support an existing endowment, your gift could be doubled, too.

To learn more how you can invest in Saint Martin’s future through an endowment and participate in the Abbey’s matching gift, please contact or (360) 438-4366.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, 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 13 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 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program, and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Cecelia Loveless
Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Genevieve Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications