A Quick Look at the Latest Campus Getting in on the STEM Gold Rush

In the largest bequest from an employee in Loyola University Maryland's history, the school recently received a $2 million gift from Mary Hyman and The Sigmund M. Hyman Foundation to create sciences and education scholarships.

The gift from Ms. Hyman represents yet another example of universities strengthening STEM-related offerings as part of a larger fundraising effort. Hyman's gift is part of Loyola's $100 million Bright Minds, Bold Hearts comprehensive campaign for strategic academic, service, and experiential programs and initiatives at the university. The total raised to date is more than $72 million.

What's more, Hyman's gift marks the second donation we've seen in the just the last few weeks in which a former employee gave to his or her ex-employer. Hyman was the former coordinator of science education programs and the Institute for Child Care Education with Loyola University Maryland’s School of Education 

According to the school's press release, the gift will be divided into the following four scholarships for undergraduates, graduates, and research opportunities:

  • The first $1 million will endow The Mary B. and Sigmund M. Hyman Scholarship Fund, with scholarships given each year to students majoring in the natural and applied sciences.
  • The next $200,000 of the gift will endow The Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman Fellowship Fund. The fund will award a fellowship annually to a graduate student in the School of Education whose concentration is a Master of Arts in Teaching.
  • The Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman Fund in the Natural and Applied Sciences will be founded using 50 percent of the balance of the gift. These scholarships will be awarded annually to academically talented students pursuing degrees in the natural and applied sciences.
  • The remaining balance of the gift will create The Sigmund M. and Mary B. Hyman Summer Fellows Fund. This fund will support summer research opportunities for students in the Natural and Applied Sciences.

Now we imagine some readers out there may look at this news and feel a bit like a third grader picked last for kickball. "Why haven't we been able to get on the STEM gravy train?" We feel your pain. And so we encourage you to check out a IP piece titled"Seven Ways Any College Can Get In On the STEM Gold Rush." (And yes, "gravy train" and "gold rush" are interchangeable.)

When you do, you'll find that some of our suggestions map nicely to the Hyman gift, including "Focus on Teaching" and "Create Student Research Opportunities." What's not mentioned, however, is a goal every employee should aspire to, gravy train or otherwise—create a friendly and fulfilling work environment. Because that fulfilled employee—someone like, say, Mary Hyman—just may turn into a generous donors two decades later.

"Loyola has been an important part of my life for 26 years, and it has been a joy to interact with so many dedicated people at the University," she said. "I don’t think I could have worked for a better place."