"Although I am not a College of Saint Mary (CSM) alum, nor have I worked here, and I am not Catholic, I think of this University as a treasure; a quiet, sparkling stone, sitting in the center of Omaha."
Jacqueline (Jackie) Anderegg grew up in a small town in Nebraska, in a predominately Catholic community. Although her parents were Methodist, they were active in the community and Jackie had some close associations with the nuns who she found to be among the happiest, most generous people she knew. "I secretly did the sign of the cross when passing the church because my friends assured me that if I did not, my afterlife would be even murkier than it already was because of my Methodist leanings!"
Jackie married James Anderegg in 1982 and he moved from teaching chemistry in Kansas City to College of Saint Mary, where he remained until his death in 2002. From the first time Jackie walked on CSM's campus, she felt a sense of home. She knew from Jim's experience that the faculty was extraordinarily student-centered and women-promoting. When Sister Maryanne Stevens became the leader, and the wonderfully strong, beautiful sculpture of the Walking Woman became its beacon, Jackie recognized the university growing more fully into itself, not only promoting women, but serving the women that needed this place: women of color, women who needed help as single mothers, women from other cultures as well as from the small farming communities in the Midwest, so dear to us. "CSM began to flower. Bloom became its description. How perfect!"
Jackie noted that this Catholic women's university quietly became diverse, service driven, and unique in both keeping its identity and expanding it. After Jim died, she stayed close to this place because she could feel him there. She has continued her volunteer involvement for reasons that reflect her admiration for the vibrant quality of the administration, the personal involvement of the faculty, the courage of the leadership, and the unique populations of women who are its students.
Jackie firmly believes that, thanks to the extraordinary efforts by its current administration and the faithful donors who help sustain it, College of Saint Mary continues to be a place where women become strong leaders. "I think College of Saint Mary is unique in this country for what it offers. It is such a good place. With our support, now and in our future plans, the fabulous ‘bloom' can continue." Jackie has included CSM in her estate plans.
Kathleen Kersey '86
Education has always been important in Kathleen's (Kathy's) family, and strongly encouraged. Early in life, she knew college was key to a successful future. Kathy, her sister, Sandra '69 and cousin, Eileen '76, all graduated from College of Saint Mary (CSM).
Without the strong support provided through scholarships and a generous financial aid package, Kathy would otherwise not have attended CSM. From the start, she was struck by the quality of education she received.
"I was most impressed by how the instructors and staff really cared about the students and went that extra mile to help them succeed. It was a great environment in which to learn and grow. I continue to be impressed by how much CSM has developed. I believe the University has worked and succeeded in staying competitive with other schools. Whenever ?I visit the campus today, I always leave feeling uplifted."
Kathy feels it is important to give back for those blessings one has received in life. "I also strongly believe that people, especially women, should pursue higher education, whenever possible. Paying for college today is not always feasible without assistance, but I believe it's an important investment that pays off."
Kathy credits CSM for providing her the resources and skills to build a successful career. After careful consideration she chose to include CSM in her estate plans. "It's one way to offer support to the University and its students without affecting my income while living. As a 'thank you' for the financial support I received, I thought it was important to give back to CSM so others could benefit as I have. I support CSM through my annual gifts, but my support will continue even after I am gone with my ?planned gift."
In addition, the Kersey family has established an endowed scholarship in memory of their loved ones who so firmly reinforced the significance of higher education.
"Knowing that the scholarship will help to educate future generations is a very satisfying feeling. I hope those who benefit from my planned gift or from the endowed scholarship will one day consider giving back as I have done, to continue the legacy of fine education and growth that CSM offers its students."