Recently departed on the adventure of a lifetime, teaching English in France, Ashley Ver Burg '10 credits her Saint Ben's experience with the inspiration to work abroad. "Saint Ben's helped me transform from a small town, Midwestern, girly girl, into a confident, articulate, global woman. I left campus in May 2010 prepared to confidently seek out the life I imagined. As alumnae donors, we don't just give to St. Ben's, we give back to St. Ben's. The more Bennies are given opportunities to study abroad, conduct undergraduate research, pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, and achieve, the better Saint Ben's becomes. The better Saint Ben's becomes, the more valuable my degree becomes. As this equation grows, so does our college's prestige. It all starts with me and a donation to grow the equation. That's why I give."
"I really can't put a dollar value on what my Saint Ben's experience meant to me. My years on campus as a student were incredibly precious, but the lasting relationships I have with professors, the sisters and my classmates make it impossible not to give back to the place that made it all possible. I appreciate the college and what she gives back to me now even more than I appreciated the experience as a student. I could never have afforded to attend Saint Ben's without the scholarships that I was granted each year, so now I feel compelled to "pay forward" those scholarships so that another young woman can make the Saint Ben's dream a reality. And I work for a matching gift company, so my gift makes double the difference!
Saint Ben's unlocked the door for many new experiences in my life. Global travel, volunteer service and spiritual intentionality are no longer in the background of my mind but instead live vibrantly in the foreground of my days. My family gave me a solid foundation for who I was and who I could become, and Saint Ben's helped me to say YES to living a bigger, bolder life."
"Saint Ben's provided me with the opportunity to find peace in the unknown and trust in myself to know that everything happens for a reason. Through this life lesson, I am able to make clear, thoughtful decisions amidst uncertain circumstances. My Saint Ben's experience has allowed me to become the wife, mother, leader, sister, daughter, and volunteer that I am today. My decision to give back is grounded in my upbringing and the values-based education I received at the College of Saint Benedict. I want to ensure other Bennies the opportunity to follow in the extraordinary Saint Ben's tradition of strong, powerful women leaders. I have made the decision to support scholarships for my fellow Bennies because of the unending life lessons that I gained during my four years at Saint Ben's."
Saint Ben's set me on my life's journey through the unbreakable community of people and place I experienced during my four years on campus. I know regardless of where life takes me, I will always have the Saint Ben's family to look to for guidance and support - this reality leaves me with a sense of connectedness and inspiration to guide my daily actions.
I'm inspired to give back to Saint Ben's because I think the Bennie experience is the only one like it in the world, and I'd like to do what I can to provide others with the opportunity to attend Saint Ben's, make lifelong friendships, learn in this special place, be shaped by this experience, graduate, and give back. Like all living things, it must be a circle to continue. Saint Ben's is no different.