Endowment honors legacy of College of Science Dean Mary E. Galvin

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Mary E. Galvin. Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame.

Mary E. Galvin. Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame.

More than 25 members of the advisory council for the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame have contributed over $11 million to endow the Science and Engineering Scholars Program in honor of Mary E. Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the college.

Created by Galvin in 2018, the initiative started as a pilot program to bolster the academic success of students majoring in science and engineering. Galvin announced this semester she would step down as dean in December.

“The commitment of the College of Science Advisory Council is simply unparalleled,” Lou Nanni, vice president for University Relations, said. “Never before have we seen such an outpouring of leadership and support for a departing dean. It is a true testament to Mary Galvin’s pioneering leadership, inclusive vision and the wonderful culture that exists among the members of the science advisory council.”

When the program launched in the 2018-2019 academic year, it served 45 students. Data from the first two years show that the program improved students’ performance in introductory science courses. Feedback from the scholars also demonstrates that they gained transferable study skills, learning techniques and positive mindsets that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. During the current academic year, the program expanded to accommodate 80 students.

“This endowment will have a significant and enduring impact on the academic performance of countless science and engineering students for years to come,” Allison Slabaugh, academic advancement director, said. “It will not only enable the college to enhance the program for current scholars but, in time, will provide critical resources to serve a greater number of students who would benefit from smaller class sizes, mentoring and the development of critical thinking skills.

“I was overwhelmed by the council’s vast support for this program and their desire to honor Mary’s tireless efforts to help all students thrive in the College of Science.”

Long-standing Science Advisory Council members praised Galvin for identifying the need for student academic support in the sciences and then working with colleagues to make it a reality.

“Mary was instrumental in identifying the need for this program, putting together the internal team that created it and working with the administration to allocate the funding for it,” said Matt Boler, chair of the Science Advisory Council and president and CEO of the Boler Company in Itasca, Illinois. “The Scholars Program embodies the character that makes Notre Dame so unique in today’s college landscape. It believes all students are capable of achieving greatness for themselves, and ultimately, being a force for good in the world.”

Dr. Maury Norman, a member of the advisory council and a cardiologist in Chicago, said: “The students love it and wholeheartedly appreciate the program,” adding that Galvin “will be lauded for many initiatives in the college, but the Scholars Program will forever be her shining star in the heavens.”