WINONA, Minn. — On April 23, Saint Mary’s recognized its philanthropic partners at the university’s annual Benefactor Recognition Reception and Dinner. This event is an opportunity to publicly thank the university’s benefactors for their partnership and to celebrate the generosity they have shown to Saint Mary’s.

About 90 guests, including friends, alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, Alumni Board, and advisory boards, faculty, staff, and students attended the event on the Winona Campus.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Saint Mary’s University Heritage Award for Transformational Philanthropy to George P. and Mary Ann Kendall of Glenview, Ill.

The Kendalls are inspirational champions of education and long-time benefactors of Saint Mary’s. They, along with their associated family foundations—the George P. and Mary Ann Kendall Charitable Foundation and the George R. Kendall Foundation—have generously supported the university since their oldest son, Chris, enrolled as a freshman in 1975.

When deciding where to channel their philanthropic passions, the Kendalls have always endeavored to assist the least, the last, and the lost, focusing their efforts on educational access as a way to break the cycle of poverty. In 2004, the Kendall family established the Cristo Rey Alumni Scholarship as a way to assist First Generation Scholars from the Cristo Rey network of schools with the financial support they need to make their dreams of a college education a reality.

Additionally, the Kendalls’ generous support of athletics, and their donations to the Saint Mary’s Fund, have significantly enhanced the overall Saint Mary’s student experience.

According to their son Chris ’79, M’85 of Winona, who has worked at Saint Mary’s in a number of capacities including vice president for student life, “My transition from the Kendall home to Saint Mary’s for college and beyond has proven to be a seamless transition of a familiar mission. My parents raised us to be generous, especially in places where we could make a difference.”

The formal dinner program included remarks by Brother William Mann, president. A student perspective was shared by Priscilla Nava, a First Generation Scholar and recipient of the Kendall Family’s Cristo Rey Alumni Scholarship.

More photos from the event can be found at

Photo caption: Brother William Mann, Saint Mary’s University president, presents George P. and Mary Ann Kendall with the Saint Mary’s University Heritage Award for Transformational Philanthropy.


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