Paying It Forward

Mary Leopold ’79 learned early about the importance of higher education. “My parents gave me a peanut butter jar ‘bank’ to save some of my earnings for college,” she recalls. “I particularly remember my mom’s guidance in reinforcing the goal of furthering my education.”

In 2020, Mary and her husband Larry Balfanz found themselves in a position to act on and honor the spirit of that inspiration. They established the Irene Leopold Endowed Scholarship at Saint Ben’s to celebrate her leadership. During fiscal year 2022, however, Mary went further. She and Larry made significant gifts in support of current fundraising efforts for both “Women in Leadership” and
“Women in STEM.”

“Saint Ben’s was where I saw strong, determined female role models in action – from the sisters to my Bennie classmates,” she says. “It’s important to us for the young women there now to have – and to be – role models in whatever field they choose.”