Patricia Hearns '78 Says Thanks With Gift in Her Will
"I feel like I have a Saint Michael's family," Patricia Hearns '78, says about her group of classmates still tightly connected after 40 years. "I really feel that's my biggest takeaway from Saint Michael's—my lifelong friendships. We've stayed closely connected and they've seen me through thick and thin."
When asked why she chose to remember Saint Michael's in her will, Patricia says, "It was the easiest way for me to give gratitude to the College. And, to let my children and family know how much Saint Michael's has meant to me."
After high school, Patricia wanted to go across the country to California. Thanks to her dad, alumnus William Morrissey '48, he convinced her to give college a try and she started as a first year at Saint Michael's in the second semester.
When she arrived on campus in January, she was immediately embraced.
"I lived on the first floor of Ryan Hall and everyone was so warm and kind," she says. "I cherished the camaraderie of my floor mates and most of us returned to celebrate our 40th Reunion this past June."
She loved her time at Saint Michael's—both she and her father remember Fr. Ray Doherty. She appreciated Professor Luis Quiroz as a Spanish major and Professor Roy Kennedy, who "gave me a lifelong appreciation of the arts."
After college graduation, it was a Saint Michael's alumna who got Patricia her first job at Merrill Lynch in New York City. Patricia went on to recruit a few other Saint Michael's alumni who also started their careers there. She stayed in investment banking for 11 years until she took time out to raise a family.
These days, Patricia takes pleasure in being a parent and volunteering in the community. She is most proud of her three children who have "become good, kind people."
Patricia especially appreciated her Catholic liberal arts education. "How else can someone like myself with majors in Spanish and art go on to obtain a brokerage license and work on Wall Street? It is a liberal arts education that supports our capacity to think critically and adapt."
Her advice to new students is to study what you love as "that is where you'll end up anyway."
"Follow your path if you find it," Patricia says. "A well-rounded education at Saint Michael's is going to take you a long way."
Like Patricia, if you would like to pave the way for future students to get a Saint Michael's education, please contact Ms. Phung Pham at 802-654-2646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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