By Kary Feick

Bowlers helped Edith Raleigh, Dean of the Graduate School at Madonna University, raise $2,700 during the fourth Bowling for Scholars fundraiser.

Even in this money-tight economy, enough funds have accrued to finally meet the Graduate Dean’s Scholarship $10,000 minimum goal.

Madonna University t-shirts, smiling faces, and enthusiastic teams filled Woodland Lanes for the fourth annual Bowling for Scholars fundraiser last month. More than 100 participants, including students, faculty, staff, friends and family came out to enjoy a fun night for a great cause.

“Bowling was a lot of fun and I felt the fundraiser went well,” said Cassie Dusute,” student and employee at Madonna.  

Although there was no trophy for best team spirit, Dusute’s team sure deserved the reward. ‘There’s no crying in Bowling’ included the Madonna Help Desk, friends, and family members. Printed on bright colored Madonna University t-shirts, the players ironed on their team and bowler names to each shirt.

“It was so fun to get together outside of work, I even saw people dancing, and was elected team captain. I inspired bowlers to wear matching shirts and arrive on time. This was my first time attending the event and I found the experience very rewarding,” said Chris Benson, Associate Dean for Academic Advising and First-Year Experience. Benson even won a prize from one of the 50/50 raffles during the evening.

Benson and other participants agreed that Kathleen Edelmayer had the best strike dance. Edelmayer just laughed and said it was all in good fun. Edelmayer is the Chair of the new Communication and Writing program at Madonna.

With the help from events like Bowling for Scholars, scholarship funding continues to grow alongside Madonna University’s Graduate School as a whole.

“We’re more than 25 percent of the student body now; we have a significant impact on the university culture,” said Edith Raleigh, Dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate School has grown from 50 students in 1982 to 2,500 active students now, according to Raleigh.

The number of Graduate School applications in 2009 shot up 80 percent since 2007 resulting in a 57 percent increase in admissions, according to data reported by Melanie Minch, Graduate Admissions Officer.

“This year we’ve had a lot more applications than normal; it’s been a really good year,” said Minch. “Students are definitely coming back to school.” Minch’s responsibilities include recruiting for the Graduate School at career fairs and events hosted by MU in addition to other universities and corporations. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Minch also offers career counseling and advising to students.

Raleigh notes many people are coming back to school to retool and take their career in a different direction, while others are working to gain additional skills in their current career to maintain job stability.

“It’s getting to the point when you have to have a master’s degree to progress,” said Raleigh. “The more people who have a bachelor’s degree, the more you stand out if you have a master’s degree; it’s the same with a doctorate.”

Another incentive to start a graduate program is the Alumni Tuition Benefit, offering master’s program courses at the current undergraduate tuition rate. “It brings our own students back,” said Raleigh. Another plus: loans are deferred when students continue their education.

“I’ve had some students tell me they’ve decided to go on to their master’s degree because there are no jobs out there,” said Raleigh. However, certain departments prefer students have some work experience before admission to a master’s program.

Programs like Madonna’s Alumni Tuition Benefit, Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind and scholarships afford students financial assistance to pursue graduate education.

In an additional effort to continue raising money for scholarships, Madonna’s next Bowling for Scholars fundraiser will take place on Friday, May 20, 2011.


MU’s Graduate School fundraiser deemed a success