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Helping Our Students Get to the Finish Line

Although the President’s Gala was not held this year, one thing remains the same at Bay Path: our students are at the heart of all we do.

Thank you to our generous sponsors, Finish Line donors, advertisers, attendees, auction donors, volunteers, students, and staff that supported this farewell to Dr. Carol and Noel Leary. You have helped us raise over $380,000 for our students!

The President’s Gala is the signature fundraising event of the year; all donations go to student scholarships and The Finish Line Fund, which provides critical financial support to our most vulnerable students. Through this fund, we are able to assist students to the finish line so financial burdens, like tuition and other emergency expenses, do not remain obstacles to degree completion.

As an independent woman, I was really struggling to pay tuition for my final semester. When I received Finish Line assistance, I felt so grateful. It meant I would be able to pay my tuition, focus on my classes and graduate. Thank you all for your amazing support and for believing in women’s education. Because of you, I am going to be able to have my dreams come true.
Marlene Tapia Reyes ’20 B.S. Business Administration
I am a first-generation college student and I have been working since I was sixteen years old to save money for college. I recently lost my father to stage four metastatic melanoma. The hospital bills kept coming in and by the end, it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to continue with my education. When I was first notified I would be receiving The Finish Line scholarship, I was in absolute tears. I didn’t think I would be coming back this semester. The fact that The Finish Line scholarship was awarded to me was the biggest relief of my life! Once you leave college it’s so hard to get back in. Thank you for making it possible for me to continue my education.
Samantha Budynkiewicz ’21 B.S. Forensic Science
As a student at The American Women’s College, I would not be getting my degree if it weren’t for The Finish Line Fund. Working two jobs, I just didn’t have money to cover all the expenses this year. In September of 2017, my husband of 35 years was diagnosed with lung cancer. I stopped attending college and put my needs on the back burner to care for him. He lost his battle on September 11, 2018, but I know he is cheering me on as I graduate. I am so grateful for The Finish Line scholarship so that I can complete what I started in 2016.
Ann Marie Webster ’20 B.S. Business Administration, Paralegal Certificate


At the annual President’s Gala, attendees raise their paddles to donate to The Finish Line Fund. Since we were not able to celebrate this year, one of our most generous donors raised her paddle virtually.

Pat Pierce, former chair of the Bay Path Board of Trustees, continues to help make education possible for our students in need. She has provided countless opportunities that enable our students to shine, and her passion for Bay Path is infectious. Now, at a time when Bay Path students need us more than ever, Pat made an inspirational gift of $50,000 to The Finish Line Fund to meet students’ emergency needs. She called it her mission moment.

However, there’s more. Pat also pledged to match up to another $50,000 by challenging the Board of Trustees. Without hesitation, the Trustees met the challenge. As a result, over $150,000 was raised for The Finish Line Pat’s bold act inspired others to respond.

Pat Pierce with Bay Path students.