Scholarships provide essential support to Belmont Abbey College students as they grow into men and women of excellence and virtue. Generous donors like Sarah Mukerji, who help to endow and sustain these scholarships, truly embody the essential aims and ideals in the Made True campaign pillar, Made Secure.
This pillar safeguards and reinforces Belmont Abbey College’s freedom to live and act in accordance with our Judeo-Christian values. In a sense, this pillar makes secure the strength and freedom of the other two, protecting the college and monastery – as well as new and emerging centers of engagement – from the mandates that so often accompany federal funding.
To maintain our integrity as an authentic Benedictine institution, we plan to grow our endowment and explore innovative programs to help undergraduates avoid incurring burdensome levels of college debt.
Even beyond this vision of security, the monks and the Belmont Abbey alumni family have always understood community itself as an essential pillar by which we are Made Secure. It is particularly appropriate, then, that among the many notable contributions to the Abbey’s endowment, and thus to its future, is a remarkable example of alumni participation through both community building and fundraising.
Sarah Mukerji ‘83 and a group of dedicated alumni have formed a committee to host a festive NYC Christmas fundraiser, the goal of which is to create and endow the Alumni Legacy Scholarship.
The advent of this inspiration dates back to 2014, when Sarah reached out to volunteer her time as a member of the Belmont Abbey Alumni network. Seeing her youngest daughter off to college had prompted her to think about alumni involvement and its incalculable effect on the life of an alma mater. “I was always taught to give back and help others,” Sarah reflected, and this driving philosophy has informed an evolving tradition of active generosity and thriving fellowship.
After assisting with a 2014-2015 campaign to involve alumni families and cultivate alumni donors, Sarah began to consider other ways to encourage community participation. Her husband Rana had recently become a member of the Harvard Club NYC, so in December of 2017, Sarah organized her first Christmas party and fundraising event there, together with fellow alumnus, Jack Calaman ‘72.
Sarah then became a member of the Alumni Board in March of 2018. Within this board, she also joined alumni like Donna Kemp ‘83, Roma (Dudko) Grogan ‘83, A. M. Stevens ‘00, and Joe Reeves on a fundraising committee tasked not only with raising money but also with initiating a “philosophy of change:” challenging the wider alumni community to more active participation in Abbey life. In response to the enthusiastic reception of the previous year’s Christmas party, they organized a second event, this time on the Harvard Club’s rooftop bar, where attendees raised several thousand dollars toward a Presidential Scholarship.
Although Covid interrupted this momentum, Sarah Mukerji and a dedicated committee of fellow alumni remain determined to cultivate the kind of fellowship and involvement that helps to Make True Belmont Abbey’s future. In the tradition of Benedictine hospitality and community participation, they are currently preparing for the largest and most ambitious event yet: a Christmas party fundraiser that will establish and endow the Alumni Legacy Scholarship. Contributing to the endowment in a way that directly benefits generations of students, Sarah and her committee Make Secure, not just an institution or a student body, but a thriving community centered on the excellence and virtue – the love and stability – of an Abbey education.