Trinity Foundation and Mount Mary College: will partner to provide innovative new program

For Immediate Release

Contact: Mary Cain
[email protected]

MILWAUKEE—Mount Mary College, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway, and the Trinity Foundation Fund, administered by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, will partner to provide higher education for young women from low socioeconomic backgrounds, it was announced by Mount Mary President Patricia O’Donoghue.

A Trinity Foundation grant of $3.175 million to the college, the largest in Mount Mary’s history, will be used over the next five years in combination with additional funds to be raised by the college to create and administer a comprehensive educational initiative that will provide young women with significant potential from Milwaukee’s urban community with access to education such that they are able to pursue and obtain a college education that develops them academically, socially, and spiritually.

The program will consist of multiple components, including a three-part college preparatory program for high school students and a one-year campus satellite program followed by degree completion at Mount Mary’s main campus (see page 3 for program description).

This initiative is a groundbreaking effort aimed at providing access to higher education for lower income students in Milwaukee, while offering a broad approach to student support mechanisms that contribute to student retention and graduation, as well as extensive academic preparatory activities, including a college bridge program. Mount Mary will offer the first year of its curriculum in a unique format at the Midtown Campus, planned to be located at the YWCA at 1915 North Martin Luther King Drive.

Brother Bob Smith, OFM, member of the Mount Mary College Board of Trustees and President of Messmer Catholic Schools, including Messmer High School, a participating school, said, “This program is an innovative response to a significant local and national challenge. There is a demonstrated need in the Milwaukee area for successful programs to increase the number of college graduates in our community, particularly among lower income students.”

“Mount Mary, as a women’s college with a history of outreach, is uniquely qualified to administer such a program,” President O’Donoghue said. “This program will be a joint commitment by Mount Mary College, our funding partner, area high schools, and community organizations that will have far-reaching results. It is a wonderful commitment to higher education by the Trinity Foundation.”

This is one of three major grants totaling over $7 million awarded by the Trinity Foundation through an innovative process that invited organizations to present their most creative projects for youth development, educational opportunities and leadership programs for funding.

The Trinity Foundation of Wisconsin is a charitable organization created to support specified organizations committed to enhancing and improving the character, quality and access to education; the personal social and intellectual development of children and youth; and the educational and social quality of community life. It is administered by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Richard A. Burke, chairman of Trek Corporation in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and principal contributor to the Trinity Foundation, said, “One of the greatest investments we can make is in our children and young people, who will be our future leaders. Through Midtown Campus, Mount Mary College will be able to offer a quality college experience to a diverse group of young women and enrich our community for many years to come.”

Mount Mary expects the college preparatory program to be functioning by summer 2004. The balance of the program will be operational by fall 2004. For more information, please contact Mary Cain, Mount Mary College, 414-256-1210.

Mount Mary College Midtown Campus

“Wisconsin’s Quiet Crisis,” a January 2004 Wisconsin Policy Research Institute report, stresses the need to increase educational accomplishment in the city of Milwaukee. The report states: “The city must add 5,300 college-educated residents each year from now until 2020… The magnitude of the deficiency of college graduates is alarming and points out clearly the task before Milwaukee.”

The Mount Mary College Midtown Campus will address this issue in several ways. The program’s multiple components will include:

The college preparatory program, aimed at freshman, sophomores, and juniors in high school as well as middle school students from selected schools, will provide exposure to higher education to students and parents; the program will also offer an intensive summer program between junior and senior years and tutoring throughout senior year; finally, a bridge program will be offered over the summer between high school and college for students who have been admitted to Mount Mary. The bridge program will include college courses and social activities.

The Midtown Campus will enable full-time freshmen to pursue academic coursework that utilizes a cohort format, in a community-based environment. Students will be fully integrated into all aspects of life at Mount Mary throughout their time at the Midtown Campus. Following their freshman year, they will come to the main campus to complete their baccalaureate degrees.