The O’Rourkes – Dr. Howie, Amber, Howie, and Caroliine
Amber O’Rourke

1999 – 2003 Scholarship Recipient
Saint Mary’s College“The Scholarship Foundation scholarship was a tremendous help during my college years. My parents made a decision early on in our childhoods that, if possible, they did not want my brother or I to graduate from college burdened with overwhelming student loan debt that could limit our post-graduation life choices. They knew this would be a great financial challenge, so they encouraged us to work hard to get good grades and apply for as many scholarships as we were qualified for to help lower their costs. When I expressed interest in a private school, Saint Mary’s College, they never discouraged me from applying even though we all knew that the cost would be much higher than a public school. The Scholarship Foundation scholarship enabled me to contribute to the cost of my college tuition and concentrate on my studies without needing to take on an outside job during the school year.As I celebrate my ten year reunion this summer, I remain grateful to my parents and the Scholarship Foundation for helping me graduate from college with both a degree and no student loan debt.”

Financial Planners


Why the Scholarship Foundation?

Many community donors have chosen to continue helping deserving students pay for college by leaving a gift to the Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County.


  • We are the oldest and largest St. Joseph County organization dedicated solely to raising and awarding funds for college scholarships. Since our founding in 1958, we’ve awarded in excess of $5.1 million dollars in scholarship aid to local students attending four-year colleges and universities across the country.
  • We are incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
  • Being good stewards of our gifts, our volunteer board oversees the professionally managed Endowment Fund. The Foundation has two paid staff members.  Our board uses the 5 percent rolling average of the Endowment as the basis for scholarship awards each year. The Endowment is carefully managed to ensure that scholarships will be available for many years to come.
  • In addition to a renewable scholarship, students also have a mentor each of our students is assigned a mentor from our board of directors.


Transfers of stock, charitable remainder trusts, annuities and insurance policies are just some of the options are available for donors.  Please contact Steve Thomas (574 807-0492) at the Foundation for more information.