Women of Marian Society

History and Founding

women of marianThe Women of Marian Society, established in 2020, serves to honor Marian University’s foundresses, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana, and founding as a women’s college. Its mission is to celebrate the contributions of women in Marian’s history and expand opportunities for women at Marian for generations to come. The society seeks to honor, extend, and advance the legacy of Marian’s women graduates, as well as provide opportunities for women to grow as leaders at Marian and in their community. 

The name “Women of Marian” was originally coined for graduates of Marian College when it served as a women’s college from 1937-54. Annual gatherings of the Women of Marian happened throughout the years and evolved into an annual luncheon held on campus. Beginning in 2010, an official Women of Marian luncheon began on campus and invitations were extended to various women stakeholders. This luncheon has been held annually under various names, but all focused on serving to bring women of Marian together. 

Membership in the Women of Marian Society is based on gifts during Marian University’s fiscal year between July 1 and June 30. Membership courtesies are offered for one full year of events depending on the time of entrance into the society (e.g. joining in September would allow access to events and programs through the following August). Gifts must be made to the Women of Marian Society and donations to other initiatives cannot be double counted for membership in the Women of Marian Society. 

The Women of Marian Society provides opportunities for its members to: 

  • Gather with like-minded, philanthropic women for events and programs focused on common experiences and needs.
  • Join a passionate group of women to enhance opportunities for Marian’s women students and leaders through scholarships.
  • Foster relationships with current students and Marian alumnae and provide meaningful networking opportunities.
  • Support university initiatives that strengthen areas of interest to the Women of Marian Society.

Giving Circles

Circles within the Women of Marian Society honor the pioneers of Marian’s past. Access to membership in the society is tiered to provide opportunities for stakeholders to be involved at levels including events, volunteering, and leadership. Giving circle members are alumnae, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of Marian who recognize that women’s philanthropy has the potential to transform women leaders at Marian. 

Funds from giving circles will be distributed through scholarships for Marian University women students with criteria for the awards approved annually by members of the society. 

Clare Circle – $1,000 or more annually 

  • Complimentary attendance at the summer Women of Marian event
  • Complimentary attendance at the fall/holiday Women of Marian event
  • Member of Women of Marian advisory council (voluntary, not required)
  • Input on the criteria for scholarships to be awarded with Women of Marian funds

Dillhoff Circle – $500-999 annually 

  • Complimentary attendance at the summer Women of Marian event
  • Complimentary attendance at the fall/holiday Women of Marian event
  • Input on the criteria for scholarships to be awarded with Women of Marian funds

Hackelmeier Circle – $250-499 annually

  • Complimentary attendance at the summer Women of Marian event
  • Input on the criteria for scholarships to be awarded with Women of Marian funds

Events and Programs

Offered at least quarterly; free to society members as listed above; reasonable ticket price for guests to attend and cover costs (any income earned from guest attendance benefit Women of Marian Scholarships). Events may include: 

  • Luncheons
  • Holiday events
  • Service activities
  • Spring Oldenburg visit/tour
  • Tailgate/support of women’s athletics programs

Upcoming Event

Holiday Wine Tasting - Friday, November 12 for members of the Clare Circle ($1,000 commitment) or Dillhoff Circle ($500 commitment) levels. Invitations will be mailed upon renewal. 

Women of Marian Luncheon

The luncheon was held on July 17, 2021 and hosted five health profession alumnae panelists who shared their story of being on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. The event also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. For event photos visit the Marian University Flickr page.

Save the date for the 2022 Women of Marian Luncheon - Saturday, July 16, 2022 

Advisory Council

Women of Marian Society members at the Clare Circle ($1,000 annually) are eligible to serve in a leadership role on the advisory council. The advisory council’s role is to coordinate events, partner with Office of Institutional Advancement staff in managing society recruitment and communication, and recommend scholarship criteria for society member feedback. 

Scholarships and Grants

The inaugural year of the Women of Marian Society has already raised more than $71,000 with 74 members and growing! We hope to secure $200,000 raised so we can endow one scholarship for four women, one per grade level.

Scholarship criteria for Women of Marian Scholarships include leadership, service, mission alignment, involvement, academic success, etc. The criteria is established and updated annually in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid and input from all members of the Women of Marian Society. 

Gifts to the Women of Marian Society are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law. 

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