On Friday, Nov. 3, Marian University’s 2023 gala secured more than $2.5 million for scholarships to benefit Marian University students.
“I am edified by the incredible support we receive from our students, staff, faculty, many alumni, and other friends of the university in attendance at the annual gala,” said Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener. “It is our mission to develop transformational leaders for service to the world, and with the support of our many friends we are able to provide our students the scholarship support they need to be successful.”
Nearly 2,000 students, staff, faculty, alums, supporters, partners, and community members attended the event, including Archbishop Charles C. Thompson from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, who delivered the opening prayer. Marian University’s sponsor, the Sisters of Saint Francis, Oldenburg, Ind., sang the closing benediction – a time-honored tradition at the event.
President Elsener shared Marian University’s bold moves and extraordinary results, including:
- The 10th Anniversary of its medical school, which graduated its 1,000th physician this year.
- Klipsch Educators College’s A+ rating from the National Council on Teacher Quality – one of just 48 universities nationwide and the only reading instruction program in Indiana to receive this distinction
- The E. S. Witchger School of Engineering (WSE) building opened this year to provide a state-of-the-art home for mechanical, biomedical, civil, and computer engineering. WSE will also offer engineering physics and is developing graduate programs in engineering management.
WRTV-TV 6 Anchor/Reporter Rafael Sanchez returned as the emcee for the evening as the gala raised funds for student scholarships and honored several prominent community and business leaders and distinguished alums.
- Teresa Lubbers, President of Sagamore Institute and Former Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, received the John A. Purdie Innovator and Mentor of the Year Award. Before serving as Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, Lubbers spent 17 years in the Indiana State Senate as Chair of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.
- Theaodis (Ted) Gary, Jr., President of AMG Engineering & Machining, was honored with the 2023 Franciscan Values Award. Gary used his experiences and network to build a strong foundation for AMG Engineering & Machining, which has seen exponential growth over the past decades. In addition to serving as a longstanding member of the Marian University Board of Trustees, Gary has supported a variety of Marian University fundraising initiatives, established a scholarship in Jackson, Miss., in honor of his mother, and supports a K-12 mentorship program in his late mother and father’s home county.
- Al Leighton ‘62 and Kathy Fox ‘75 were recognized with the 2023 Dillon Family Distinguished Alumni Award. Both Marian University alumni, Leighton, are retired from Marian Inc., and Fox is a retired educator. They were each 30+-year supporters of Marian University before they met at the St. Joseph’s Chapel ribbon cutting in 2021 and married in 2022.