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Generous estate gift advances future of alumna’s alma mater

Whether as a parishioner and volunteer with the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak Roman Catholic Church or a faculty member with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, Marianne Baloga ’63 gave of herself freely during a lifetime defined by service and benevolence toward others.

The daughter of working class parents, Marianne graduated from College Misericordia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English after receiving a full scholarship. After a stint teaching in Boyertown, Pa., she accepted a position as an English teacher with GAR High School, which she would call home for more than 25 years. Marianne was a highly regarded and skilled educator, someone who understood that continued learning provides a gateway to opportunity in life.

“Miss Baloga was focused and detailed as a teacher. As I recall, she was often assigned to work with high-performing students and always challenged them to do their best academically,” said Jim Roberts, special assistant to the President at Misericordia and a GAR graduate. “I was pleasantly surprised when Miss Baloga recognized me during a recent Conversation with the President Alumni Phonecast and called to reminisce about GAR and to discuss all the great things happening at Misericordia.”

She did much more than discuss these developments. Marianne never lost appreciation for her experiences at Misericordia, especially for how they molded her into a respected and beloved educator. Marianne displayed her affinity for her alma mater in many ways, most recently by the $1.6 million estate gift she made in support of the Henry Science Center, her existing Marianne R. Baloga Endowed Scholarship for students from Luzerne and contiguous counties who are in the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program and the Misericordia Fund. Previously, Marianne committed $100,000 to support the acquisition of science equipment.

Members of Marianne’s class will assemble in the spring to commemorate their 55th anniversary as a graduating class. They will recall fond memories and old friendships. Marianne’s inspiring story of generosity to enhance Misericordia’s present and advance its future also will evoke the greatest respect and deepest appreciation.