Endowment honors legacy of Dean Mary E. Galvin

Author: Tammi Freehling

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Members of the Science & Engineering Scholars Program on the steps of Bond Hall in October 2020. Photo by Barbara Johnston.

The College of Science at the University of Notre Dame is pleased to announce the endowment of the Science and Engineering Scholars Program. The program, started in 2018 as a pilot program to bolster student academic success in science and engineering majors, will be named in honor of the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, Mary E. Galvin.  

More than 25 members of the Science Advisory Council gave over $11 million in support of the program and to honor Galvin, who earlier announced she would step down as Dean of the College of Science in December.

“The commitment of the College of Science Advisory Council is simply unparalleled,” said Lou Nanni, Vice President for University Relations. “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 (2020-2021) the program expanded to accommodate 80 students. However, there is more work to be done.

“This endowment will have a significant and enduring impact on the academic performance of countless science and engineering students for years to come,” said Allison Slabaugh, Academic Advancement Director. “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 worked with the administration to allocate the funding for it,” said Matt Boler, chair of the Science Advisory Council and President & CEO of the Boler Company in Itasca, Ill. “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.”

Certainly, the Science and Engineering Scholars Program will be Mary Galvin’s lasting legacy, impacting generations of young scientists to come. “The students love it and wholeheartedly appreciate the program,” said Dr. Maury Norman, member of the Science Advisory Council and a cardiologist in Chicago, Ill. Mary Galvin, he continued, “will be lauded for many initiatives in the college, but the scholars program will forever be [her] shining star in the heavens.”

Read more about Mary Galvin’s accomplishments as Dean on science.nd.edu.