Fairmount College alumni give generously to help students take flight

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Mark, ’76, and Laurie, ’75, Finucane take pride in their well-rounded liberal arts education.

Laurie, a Wichita native, studied journalism at Wichita State and worked as an editor on The Sunflower. “It was a great experience,” said Laurie. “Working with a group of people and meeting deadlines and seeing the paper being read by students all over the campus.”

Mark and Laurie Finucane
Mark and Laurie Finucane

While studying political science and comparative literature, Mark had the opportunity to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. It’s a year of his life that he deeply cherishes. “If you’re going to have a liberal arts education, a logical extension of that education is to experience other cultures and nations and parts of the world,” said Mark. “It teaches you something that you can’t read.”

It was these fond memories and unforgettable experiences that inspired them to establish the Mark and Laurie Finucane Travel Seminar Scholarship, which will allow students to attend conferences and participate in abridged study-abroad programs throughout the semester.

The Fairmount College alums believe that travel is integral to a complete liberal arts education. “There are few people I’ve ever met who didn’t find it greatly beneficial to become immersed, even briefly, in another culture,” said Mark.

The Finucanes initially planned to establish a scholarship through their estate but, after attending the opening of Woolsey Hall, decided to not wait to make their gift. “A thought just came into my head,” said Laurie. “We need to do this while we’re still living so that we can see the real benefit of it.”

Mark and Laurie hope that attending travel seminars will enrich students’ educational experience and broaden their horizons.

“A liberal arts education really prepares you for life,” said Mark. “That life is improved if you have a richer and more diverse set of experiences. Visiting parts of the world you haven’t seen: that makes you more empathetic, more understanding, perhaps even more capable of applying your education.”

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