On Friday, April 12, during an official signing ceremony on the campus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s Ryken High School senior Jonathan Bland formally accepted the St. Mary’s College Joseph and Kathleen Garner Endowed Scholarship.
Jonathan was welcomed to the St. Mary’s College community by a group of college representatives, including President Joseph Urgo, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Patricia Goldsmith, and Vice President for Advancement Maureen Silva. Also in attendance was St. Mary’s Ryken High School President Mary Joy Hurlburt.
“The Joseph and Kathleen Garner Endowed Scholarship allows St. Mary’s College to strengthen our relationship with the Southern Maryland community,” said Urgo during the ceremony. “Partnering with Ryken has been a great experience, one which truly emphasizes the synergy between our two institutions. This award ensures Jonathan’s full participation in the liberal arts experience.”
“Described by his teachers as ‘one of the kindest and most caring young men,’ Jonathan was a perfect candidate for the first Joseph and Kathleen Garner Scholarship,” said Goldsmith. “In addition to working hard in the classroom, Jonathan played lacrosse, works several jobs, and volunteers in his church and community. Passionate about the environment and natural world, Jonathan also raises oysters and ducks. He is balanced and grounded, and will take full advantage of the wonderful opportunities this scholarship presents.”
“The Garner Endowed Scholarship is a fabulous idea,” said Hurlburt. “Ryken is committed to financial assistance, and this award allows our students to take advantage of study-abroad and internship experiences.”
After signing the official student agreement, Bland thanked those from St. Mary’s College for making the award possible. “I was so happy when I heard the voicemail announcing my scholarship,” he said. “I’m excited for August so I can truly experience St. Mary’s College.”
The Joseph and Kathleen Garner Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in February 2012, provides tuition and supplementary co-curricular support to a student attending St. Mary’s College, with a preference for St. Mary’s Ryken High School graduates. In contributing the endowment to St. Mary’s College, Joseph and Kathleen Garner wish to “provide students with a complete experience, void of the need for supplemental loans, so that their education and the experiences that support it, are their focus.” Joseph Garner graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken High School in 1966 and from St. Mary’s College in 1974. Kathleen Garner graduated from the University of Maryland and served as a teacher in the St. Mary’s County region.