This Saint Mike's Vermonter is a True Gem
By Mark Tarnacki, Staff Writer
Angela "Angie" Aja Armour '99 M'09 grew up in rugged, blue-collar Barre, central Vermont's famous "Granite City," where the quarries and sheds meant a living for generations of her ancestors. But it was Saint Michael's College that became her rock.
"They took a chance on me more than once," says the College's alumni and parent relations director, explaining why she and her husband, Josh, recently decided to make a will provision gift to fund an endowed scholarship at Saint Michael's. They are in their 30s and new parents of a baby girl named Gillian Grace. It was "Gigi's" birth last year that got them talking to lawyers and financial advisors as they looked to secure her future. Angie's heart told her that Saint Michael's needed to be a significant consideration in that process.
"First, Saint Mike's took a chance on me as a journalism student and varsity athlete who needed financial aid and work-study," she says. "Then they gave me the opportunity to come back as a 22-year old athletic communications director, and then move into an alumni relations role, working with Patrick Gallivan. So I feel this is my way of saying ‘thank you for believing in me, even when I didn't quite believe in myself.'"
A Community of Mentors
She tells how Edmundite Father Marcel Rainville '67 guided her through a personal tragedy in her early student days. He later presided at her and Josh's marriage, baptized their daughter, and has remained a trusted spiritual adviser.
Angie marvels at the strong role models she had as a student, from journalism professors to work-study supervisors. She says besides such cherished "guardian angels," she made some of her best friends for life as a Saint Mike's student. And of course, she met her patient and charitable husband, an IBM engineer, after returning as the athletic communications director.
"I felt that since someone provided funds for me to come here, the best way I can have anything close to an impact like that is if we include Saint Mike's in our will," Angie says. "The gift will build an endowed scholarship. We definitely want to support a Vermont student in need, perhaps from Central Vermont."
For Angie, the rationale for such a gift is straightforward: "People here recognize potential and that means a lot to me. Josh and I want to provide that same opportunity for other students."
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