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
  • In its inaugural year, founding/charter members of the Women of Marian Society at the $1,000 level will receive exclusive event and recognition opportunities (pledges or gifts made before December 31, 2020)

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

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

We hope to secure at least $52,000 in commitments to the Women of Marian Society in order to endow a Women of Marian Scholarship ($50,000) prior to the end of the 2020 calendar year. 

Anything raised in excess of the $50,000 to fund an endowed scholarship can be awarded in private scholarship(s) to students in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Scholarship criteria for Women of Marian Scholarships could include leadership, service, mission alignment, involvement, academic success, etc. and the criteria would be 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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