Last semester while studying abroad in the International Education’s program in Alba, Italy, sophomore Sarah “Sadie” Pyles passed away unexpectedly. In order to commemorate her life, her family has established a scholarship in her name: the Sarah Michele Guineviere Pyles Memorial Scholarship.
“[The scholarship] was designed to benefit students with demonstrated financial need, who have completed at least one year at St. Mary’s and have a 3.0 or higher grade point average, with a preference for students studying political science and/or art history,” said Donor Relations and Communications Officer Karen Raley, ‘94.
There is a formal document, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), between the Pyles family and the College’s foundation “that stipulates how a named gift is to be funded and how the gift is to be used, or awarded in the case of a scholarship,” said Raley.
An email was sent out to students that fit all of these listed qualifications, which stated a quick biography of Pyles, including that she loved to read, was planning to major in Political Science and minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as well as Art History. It was also mentioned that she had the desire “to change the world and make it a better place through international relations.”
Therefore, students applying to the scholarship needed to submit a one-page essay on how they themselves would change the world to make it a better place. All submissions were due by Oct. 17 to the Financial Aid Office, which would then be passed along to the family of Sarah Pyles. The Pyles family is currently reading over the essays, which were forwarded to them without the names of the authors. Their recommendation for who should receive the award will be sent to the Financial Aid Office.
Ultimately, the Financial Aid Office has the last say on who the recipient will be, and are planning on announcing who it is in about a week. The amount of the award is $1,000 and will go towards the student’s school funds for the 2011-2012 year.