Students succeed with help from The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign

November 19, 2019

Our history. Our moment. Our vision to be the finest.

The gifts of The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign have already made a huge impact on student success. Students and faculty share their paths to success through the short story and quotes below.

Scholarship provides student with a life-changing moment

Magdalena Olivas stands in a School of Business classroom.

Magda Olivas, left, an Accounting, and Finance and Risk Management senior from Mexico, said a scholarship made the difference in her attending St. Mary’s.

The day of her high school graduation, Olivas had decided to go to another school because it cost less. But a call from her counselor let her know about help she would receive from the St. Mary’s Carlos and Malú Alvarez International Student Endowed Scholarship Fund. Her brother now attends St. Mary’s too.

“‘Thank you’ only includes eight letters, but to me, it involves a life-changing moment: a new hope, a dream come true and a bag full of dreams that will impact the lives of many,” she said.


Mya Culiver shoots a basket.

Any financial assistance is a blessing. I believe we have a purpose here on Earth to love and serve others. The people who have provided funds for me are a step ahead on that, and I will be doing the same when I’m in the position to do so.” — Mya Culiver, Computer Engineering junior from New Mexico and Women’s Basketball guard

Suzanne Oliva stands in a School of Business classroom.

The Greehey Scholars make me proud with their thought-provoking questions and polished comments. This professionalism, along with solid character, often results in internships or full-time positions. A financial contribution to St. Mary’s University provides the sustenance to produce the leaders that this world needs.” — Suzanne Oliva (J.D. ’96, B.B.A. ’87), Director of the Greehey Scholars Program and Visiting Assistant Professor of Accounting

Matthew Mireles conducts student musicians.

Through music and music education, everyone can find purpose and meaning in their lives. Thanks to your help, we are able to update our instrument inventory, technology and student aid, which advances our performance and education quality.” — Matthew Mireles, D.M.A. (B.A. ’07), Chair of the Department of Music

Vanessa Cypert sits with the Bell Tower behind her.

St. Mary’s has a program for Theology that supports students involved in ministry. The funding tells students this work they’re doing matters. I was super surprised to find out I was being given the opportunity to do this really new and exciting research in digital humanities, marrying technology, archaeology and theology together.” — Vanessa Cypert, online Master of Arts in Theology student from New Braunfels

Read more about what the campaign means to our students and faculty through these stories:

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