It is my pleasure to honor a woman during the month of May, which is a time for all of us to honor our Mothers. Nancy is a great Mom, who cares deeply about her family, faith and above all else , helping others. She single-handedly has donated 1 1/2 full scholarships each and every year. She has never forgotten the stranger who helped her with her last year’s tuition payment. She has tried to do the same for another student and is the role model for the “Pay It Forward” concept.. She also has a helper to keep her all about Nova. You see Nancy’s husband is a graduate, too. Here is Nancy’s story:My husband Mike graduated VU in 1984. As you know, he is a partner at EY and is very involved in recruiting at VU for EY. We met through a mutual friend who was suppose to give me a ride home from VU during Thanksgiving break, Jim "backed out" but introduced me to Mike who lived a few towns a way from me in NJ. Soooo, Mike basically gave me a ride home from school one day and the rest is history! We have been married for 33 years, My 3 kids....Maggie is the oldest (27), graduated from Muhlenberg College, (played soccer there, captain, all conference), masters from Rider College, just passed her certification exam and is now a certified Applied Behavior Therapist, working with autistic kids in a program in Doylestown, PA (where she and her husband Danny live)Casey, middle child (25), graduated from Bentley College (played soccer there, captain jr and sr year), Masters from Bentley, recently passed the CPA exam. Works at Eisner Amper Accounting firm in NJ. Engaged to Darryl (officer in the Navy), getting married this September and will move to Newport, RI in the fall.Michael, the youngest, (22) - attends Georgetown University (Jr), Double major in English and Government. Worked last summer at a local running store and just received an internship for this summer working for an agency that relocates refuges from Ethiopia. Has had a short story published twice and continues to write and submit stories wherever/whenever he can. (Knowing Michael was a writer, I asked him to write about his Mom for this article. ) Here are Michael’s words:My mother, Nancy Neary, graduated Villanova in ’83. She ran track and cross country in high school and then through college. A former coach of hers told me last summer that the name “Nancy Gallagher” is still all across the record books for her high school back in New Jersey. With hard work can evidently come great achievement, yet when constraints out of our individual control come into play, we can only go so far until our potential is forced to yield.My mother was the fourth of five children, and during her senior year at Villanova, her father had lost his job as a teacher at a private school that was closing. She and her family were struggling to make ends meet, and the financial aid office explained to her that all the resources had been exhausted already. My mother didn’t have a way of paying for her final year, and she feared she was going to have no choice but to return home without graduating. Then, a few weeks later, she was notified by the university that a $1500 grant had been placed into her account by an anonymous donor, which was what she needed to pay off the final portion of her $14,000 tuition to graduateTo this day, she says she still does not know who donated the money, yet it has made her want to “pay it forward “by becoming involved in the Blue White Scholarship program as an alumnus. She has been a consistent donor to the scholarship fund since a year or two after she graduated and hopes in the future to become more involved than just in a monetary capacity.
My grandfather instilled within my mother that as long as we try our honest best and allow our potential to flourish to its greatest capacity, that’s all that ultimately matters, even if we meet failure. Because at that point, we gave it our all. Yet when there are constraints outside our control, our potential is ultimately hindered. We should not allow the potential of students at Villanova or any university to be sacrificed because of financial constraints. Otherwise, we lose out on what these students truly have to offer to our world as the next rising generation and as individuals who wish to try their best but, to no fault of their own, do not have a way of eventually getting there.The values that my grandfather passed onto my mother were ultimately passed onto me. He taught her the importance of hard work but also of understanding and empathy. People come from a wide spectrum of life circumstances and financial backgrounds, and money at the very least should not be the factor that determines whether a prospective student can or cannot attend a university. My mother hopes, in her own small way, that she can continue working towards making this a reality, bit by bit, student by student. And I hope that, from the values she taught me, I can make a constructive difference in the lives of others and continue paying forward, whether it is fighting for equality of educational opportunity or some other path that life takes me down. I’m so proud of my Mom. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom Michael As far as how my work experience. Upon graduation, I worked for a very small local accounting firm for about 6 months. Received a job offer as a Assistant Transportation Manager from HBJ (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishing - now known just as “Harcourt Brace”). I was promoted to Transportation Manager, helped setup two warehouses, one in Orlando, one in Dallas. Had no desire to live in either place and landed a job with Colgate Palmolive. Worked there for 10 years in various positions, the last being Category Development Manager. I was responsible for the entire Underarm Sales Budget for the Northeast Region (Colgate owns Mennen) and had several accounts in which I would do ‘Category Analysis' for (I did analysis for all our categories, not just Underarm), Wegmans being the biggest account I was responsible for. Retired in 2000.Hobbies...as you know...HORSES - I actually own 3 Morgan horses. In order...my first horse, Joy, then Beau and the Johnny (Johnny Be Good). I work 6 days a week at the stables where I board and I am secretary of the Morgan Horse Association of NJ (MHANJ). I have not competed in a horse show in a number of years, hope to get back to that most likely next year, with my youngest horse - Johnny. I still get out and "run" (it's a relative term now at my age :) ) - on the wonderful trails in our town and I play tennis once a week. I also enjoy very much time spent at our shore house in Manasquan, NJ. Other than that, I have been lucky to travel here and there...I have been to Ireland 5 times, Italy 3 times and to Israel with my mom. We are planning another family trip back to Italy and Ireland (Mike has relatives living there still) Summer of 2019. So, I have been blessed with a beautiful family and having two of my childhood dreams come true - owning a horse(s) and having a house “down the shore”.
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
A Tribute to Bob Capone
January 2, 2015
The Blue White Scholarship Foundation Named "2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit" by GreatNonprofits