Featured ArticleTrustee Associates Award, Founders Medal awarded to Henry family and Blythe Trust
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees recently presented the Trustee Associates Award to Frank M. Henry and his late wife, Dorothea, and the Founders Medal to the Brenda Blythe Trust in recognition of their outstanding commitment and support of the University at the 2014 Trustee Associates Gala.
Northeastern Pennsylvania residents and fellow philanthropists know Mr. and Mrs. Henry very well. They have supported worthy endeavors that have touched nearly every life in the region through their unwavering support of higher education and innovative health care initiatives.
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees honored the couple’s philanthropy, leadership and overall dedication to maintaining and strengthening the quality of the University. The Trustee Associates Award is given annually to friends of the University who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and generous support.
Most recently, the Henrys supported the renovation of the former Black Top Lounge, a 1960s-era building that was renovated to accommodate the needs of a growing campus population and the need for additional office space. The 2,100-square-foot, one-story lounge received a comprehensive facelift, including a new roof, windows, furniture, and heating and air conditioning system. It was renamed the Frank and Dorothea Henry Student Lounge in 2013.
The Henry family’s philanthropic spirit, though, has been evident at Misericordia for many years. Mrs. Henry, a trustee from 1980-86, served with her husband on the feasibility study committee that led to the construction of Insalaco Hall. The couple’s daughter, Marjorie Henry Marquart, an alumna, has served on the board since 2013.
Mr. Henry is the CEO of Martz Trailways, a historic motor coach company that was founded in 1908 by his grandfather, Frank Martz, Sr., in Plymouth, Pa., under the name White Transit Co. Mr. and Mrs. Henry’s son, Scott E. Henry, is the president of the company today.
In recognition of outstanding commitment and support of Misericordia University and the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program, the Board of Trustees awarded the Founders Medal to the Brenda Blythe Trust.
The University was founded 90 years ago by the Sisters of Mercy to serve as an educational resource for woman and children in the community. Inspired by the tenets of Mercy, Service, Justice and Hospitality, there is no better example of the Sister’s outreach than the unique Women with Children Program (WWC), which for the past 14 years has provided housing and support for academically qualified single mothers and their children in a caring campus environment while they pursue their higher education.
Instrumental in providing the support that has helped the program become what it is today is the Brenda Blythe Trust, a trust established by John T. (Jack) Bourger, son of Ruth Matthews Bourger. Ruth, a native of Blakely, Pa., was a stay-at-home mother who dedicated her life to caring for her family and the community, including her husband, Eugene J. (Mike) Bourger, their son, Jack, and their grandchildren, Brenda and Blythe. Ruth was active in the Blakely Baptist Church as head of the flower committee and was a member of the ladies’ auxiliary of the Blakely Hose Company. She passed away in 2005, one year after her husband.
In continuing Ruth and Mike’s legacy of community involvement, the Brenda Blythe Trust has a mission to make a difference in as many people’s lives as possible. Brenda, Blythe, and Trustee Selena Vanderwerf, all agreed that women’s education was key to realizing that goal.
The Brenda Blythe Trust issued a challenge grant through Selena to Misericordia in 2005 that offered to provide a $1 million gift to the WWC program if the University were to raise $2 million. With nearly $1.6 million of the challenge in-hand and in celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary, Misericordia University was proud to formally name the WWC program the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program during a special dinner in 2011. At that time, the Trust committed another $500,000 pledge if the University could raise a total of $3 million for the program. Misericordia University is just $425,000 short of meeting that goal.
Currently, there are accommodations for 10 women and their children in two homes owned by the University. The University plans to add a third home in the near future. Established in 2000, the program has seen graduates succeed in careers in nursing, education, communications, occupational therapy, social work, medical imaging, psychology, business administration and speech-language pathology.
For more information about Misericordia University, please log on to www.misericordia.edu or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. Misericordia University ranks in the top tier of the Best Regional Universities – North category of U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges and was designated a 2015 Best Northeastern College by the Princeton Review.
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees recently recognized Frank M. Henry and his late wife, Dorothea, by presenting the couple the Trustee Associates Award at the annual Trustee Associates Gala. Members of the Henry family, seated from left, are Scott Henry, Frank Henry, Sr., Marjorie Henry Marquart and Hank Henry; second row, John Henry, Olivia Marquart, Samantha Marquart and Lauren Henry.
Brenda Blythe Trust
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees recently recognized the Brenda Blythe Trust by awarding it the Founders Medal at the annual Trustee Associates Gala. Participating in the presentation of the award, from left, are John Metz, president, Board of Trustees; Brenda Bourger McGinley, Brenda Blythe Trust; Blythe Bourger, Brenda Blythe Trust, and Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., president, Misericordia University.