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Saint Mary’s hosts card design competition

| Thursday, February 7, 2019

For the past five years, the Saint Mary’s Mother Pauline Society (MPS) has been hosting a student design competition for cards sent to society members as expressions of gratitude and well-wishes. While the message sent in each card is itself meaningful, the student-designed card makes it all the more special.

“We want to showcase student-focused and created art for donors in the Mother Pauline Society,” Saint Mary’s director of gift planning, Valerie Sherman said.

The Mother Pauline Society, named for Saint Mary’s College’s first president, is a donor society for alumna and other donors who wish to leave planned gifts to Saint Mary’s. They have several events for members, such as a special breakfast at Saint Mary’s reunions. The College works closely with them to provide support to current students.

Donors have expressed that they enjoy the cards and learning about the winning students, Sherman said. 

“We include the picture and a small bio of the winning artist,” she said. “It includes their major and some information about them. Oftentimes, students have more than one major or a few minors, and that tends to make donors happy. We have a close-knit community of Saint Mary’s alumni and donors who like to check up on current students. It makes things more personal and encourages alumni to share their own stories.”

Members of the Mother Pauline Society are also closely involved in the lives of future students, Sherman said.

“A lot of donors want to set up new scholarships” Sherman said. “In many cases they were only able to attend Saint Mary’s because of their own scholarships. They want to help current and future students in the same way they were helped.”

The MPS has been looking to expand the design competition in coming years. Currently, the award for first prize is $75 in gift card money, but Sherman said that may change in the future.

“We want to start accepting multiple submissions as winners,” she said. “We’ll be able to give more awards and have various designs available for the next couple years.”

Along with the competition, Sherman said she wants to expand the number of cards given to MPS members.

“We took our example from other nonprofits,” Sherman said. “We want to send out ‘get well‘ cards or holiday cards. Currently, most of our cards go to members for their birthday or as a part of the newsletter.”

The competition this year is open until March 31. The winning cards will be ordered and produced for the next year’s mailing.

Last year’s winner, junior Dalanie Beach, a creative writing and studio art major, will have her design printed on the 2019 cards and shared with over 400 members of the Mother Pauline Society.

With such a large audience, freshman Hannah Toepp said she is excited for a chance to design a card for donors.

“I think it would be really cool to have my artwork given to a wider audience,” Toepp said. “ … Saint Mary’s is just so beautiful and there’s a lot of inspiration to be found here. We have a rich history and a lot of opportunities to explore it.”

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