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Endowment Gift In Memory of Eleanor Szulinski Malburg '84
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Endowment Gift In Memory of Eleanor Szulinski Malburg '84

Notre Dame College is deeply grateful to Leona Szulinski O’Brien and her husband Bernard, for their generous $100,000 endowment gift in memory of Eleanor Szulinski Malburg ’84, Mrs. O’Brien’s sister.

Well aware of Eleanor’s deep affection for Notre Dame, Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien wished to make a contribution to the College that would honor her life and memory in a meaningful way. Upon learning that over 97% of students receive financial aid, they decided to direct their gift toward assisting students with their expenses. As Mrs. O’Brien noted, “We wanted to do it while we’re still living, and we’re anxious to see the results.”

The Eleanor Malburg Scholarships provide four grants each year to help deserving students with tuition, fees and books. In addition, The Eleanor Malburg Campus Ministry Internship makes possible a stipend each semester that enables a student to take on a greater leadership role in campus ministry by undertaking a project that furthers the work of the ministry.

Though the O’Briens have lived in Florida for years, they are not strangers to Notre Dame. During their many visits to Eleanor and her husband, Ray, they attended Mass in Christ the King Chapel, as well as the 50th anniversary party for Sr. Mary Loretta Pastva (former director of the Center for Pastoral Theology and Ministry) and Eleanor’s 1984 graduation from the College. Mrs. O’Brien also accompanied her sister to other College events including one celebration sponsored through the Eastern Church Resource Center. “I was even able to serve the wine to Eastern Byzantine priests in their tall black hats!” she recalls.

For over 27 years, Eleanor was an important presence in the Center for Pastoral Theology and Ministry. Her lifelong interest in ecumenism led to her key involvement in the creation of the first Eastern Church Seminar in 1985. To this day, the Seminar provides an important forum for dialogue between bishops of the Eastern Byzantine and Roman Catholic Churches of Greater Cleveland and offers topics of interest to lay people. Eleanor marshaled the Seminar through many years of increasing success, becoming its heart and soul. In 2004, a year after her death, the Seminar was renamed The Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar.

According to Mrs. O’Brien, the Sisters were so appreciative of Eleanor’s devotion to Notre Dame, they maintained that she would “get her reward in Heaven.” Surely part of that reward will be the significant impact that Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien’s generosity has on students into the future. “I think we are put on this earth for a reason,” asserts Mrs. O’Brien.

To make additional gifts to the Eleanor Malburg Endowment Fund, please contact Sue Piatt, associate director of advancement, at 216.373.5234 or at spiatt@ndc.edu