Former student gives S. Md. college $100,000 for scholarship fund

Money to be used to send city students to St. Mary's

November 25, 2003|By Alec MacGillis | Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF

The college in tiny St. Mary's City has changed a lot since Martha Myers Yeager was a student there in the early 1940s.

Back then, it was the St. Mary's Female Seminary Junior College and consisted of a few buildings; now it's St. Mary's College of Maryland, a much larger coeducational public four-year college that is among the most selective in the state.

But one thing hasn't changed, Yeager says. It's still a good place for a city-raised student to go to college, as she did when she left Baltimore to attend St. Mary's more than 60 years ago.

That is why, Yeager said, she is giving St. Mary's College of Maryland $100,000 to create a scholarship fund in her late husband's name to help Baltimore students attend the school.

The gift, announced yesterday, will allow St. Mary's to offer more scholarship aid to draw qualified but financially needy city students to the Southern Maryland campus, officials said.

"It's important to help people living in Baltimore to advance their education," said Yeager, a Catonsville resident whose husband, G. Thomas Yeager III, was a manager with the investment banking firm of Ferris Baker Watts.

St. Mary's College "is a caring place," she said. "They're interested in their students' welfare, in all kinds of ways. That to me is important."

The scholarship fund will be operated in coordination with the CollegeBound Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps needy Baltimore students. Scholarships provided by the foundation's private donors to St. Mary's-bound students will be matched with grants from the Yeager fund, St. Mary's officials said.

While the college has sought to match CollegeBound grants in previous years, officials say that the Yeager fund will allow them to offer aid to more city students, who are often receiving competing offers from other colleges. About 20 Baltimore students have attended St. Mary's via CollegeBound since 1993.

"We can't meet all the demand that comes to us, so anything that helps us meet their needs is terrific," said Torre Meringolo, the college's vice president for development.

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