“Friends of Jane” establish student scholarship in president’s honor
For President Jane Gerety, RSM, a Christmas gift from 1,000 miles away was personally delivered Saturday in the form of $25,000 to launch a student scholarship fund in her honor.
The surprise gesture from the “Friends of Jane,” a group of family members, friends and coworkers from the Atlanta area – where Gerety served as executive board officer for Saint Joseph’s Health System prior to assuming the Salve Regina presidency five years ago – was announced during the University’s 37th annual Governor’s Ball.
“The very moment Sister Jane’s friends in Atlanta got word that Salve was establishing a scholarship in her name the phones lit up,” said David Fitzgerald, a board member at St. Joseph’s Hospital whose relationship with Sister Jane has spanned 25 years. “The FOJs (Friends of Jane) raised over $25,000 in 24 hours.”
Fitzgerald and other members of the self-dubbed FOJs traveled north to surprise their friend not only with their attendance at the ball, but with their gift in her honor.
“Sister Jane has legions of friends in Atlanta who miss her presence, her wise counsel, her intellect, her friendship, her perspective and her sense of humor,” Fitzgerald said. “Newport’s gain is definitely Atlanta’s loss. We’re very sad she’s gone but so happy that she loves her job, her University family – and Newport. This was just a very small way for us to recognize how much she means to all of us.”
Attended by local business leaders, alumni, parents and friends, the Governor’s Ball raised a record $370,000 this year to support student scholarships. Since its inception in 1977, the ball has raised more than $6 million for students.