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Spring 2014

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A Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Walter Villa

Jeffrey L. Sain and Maria D. Ellul Sain know first-hand the value of a great education.

Now, with an endowment they have set up at Barry in the name of their eldest daughter, Victoria, they want other bright, young students to know and appreciate that value as well.

Victoria, 26, graduated from Barry this spring with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, and she wants to ensure that others get the same great opportunity that she received.

“The goal of the endowment is to make sure that anyone who would want to go on this path and pursue podiatric medicine would have some financial assistance,” said Victoria. “My parents set up the endowment, but as I achieve success [as a doctor], I will contribute as well.”

Victoria said the scholarship won’t be awarded only on the basis of need.

“I believe in the podiatric medicine program at Barry,” said Victoria, who had a 3.5 GPA at the school. “And I believe that students appreciate when they are rewarded for their accomplishments, their success, and their talents.”

Victoria grew up in Silver Lake, Ohio and completed her undergraduate work at The Ohio State University. Her sister Elizabeth is majoring in dietetics at the University of Akron. Both sisters attended Our Lady of the Elms High School in Akron, Ohio, an all-girls college preparatory school run by Dominican nuns, which gave them an excellent foundation in becoming scholars and leaders. Her father, Jeffrey, has a master’s degree and is a teacher. Her mother, Maria, has a doctorate degree and is a principal scientist and chemist for ExxonMobil. Jeffrey L. Sain and Maria D. Ellul Sain, who still live in Silver Lake, place a high priority on supporting educational institutions, and they hope their gift will inspire others to consider philanthropic giving at Barry.

“My husband and I believe that an education is the best gift you can give your children,” Maria said.

The family put a lot of thought into why they wanted to create the endowment at Barry. “Some parents give their children an expensive car,” Maria said. “But we thought this would be a more lasting and enduring gift. When Victoria decided she was going to study medicine and chose Barry, we were very supportive. She is getting a quality degree, and we wanted to establish this endowed scholarship to help the school and to encourage others – including our daughters – to embrace philanthropy.”

It is evident that she has carried forth those same principles.

“Not a single person who achieves gets to where they are without help, whether it’s advice, mentorship, or scholarship,” Victoria said.

Victoria enjoyed a special feeling at Barry. “The administrators and professors were wonderful,” she said. “It was such a welcoming atmosphere – a tight-knit community where I made lifelong friends. Medical school is a very arduous process and it can be highly competitive and cutthroat. But at Barry, we all banded together. I don’t think I would have gotten through it all without my friends and vice versa.”

Victoria’s spirit of helping others and giving back will not end with the endowment. Her career choice of becoming a doctor was specifically chosen for that same selfless reason. “When you see a patient who can’t walk, and you relieve their pain, it’s very gratifying,” she said. “You see the looks on their faces, and it’s amazing.”

For more information on creating an endowed scholarship, contact Sara B. Herald, vice president for institutional advancement and external affairs, at sherald@barry.eduor 305-899-3070.

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