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The John Huntington Fund for Education has become the single largest external donor to Notre Dame College, topping the $3 million mark in total giving.

Huntington has renewed its grant of critical scholarship funds, donated to formalize peer-to-peer mentoring and in its new centennial gift establishing the First Generation, or First Gen, Club, the Fund has reinforced its commitment to helping first-generation students succeed. Part of the most recent gift was the renewal of a $170,000 grant for scholarships to support students from Cuyahoga County who are pursuing studies in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) majors. The Huntington fund has proven itself integral to attracting and retaining scholars at Notre Dame through its generosity.

The College’s commitment to its 147 first-generation first- and second-year students extends beyond admission to ensure their success during their tenure at Notre Dame.  Last year, the Huntington Fund awarded an unsolicited gift of $10,000 to support this cohort with peer-to-peer mentoring by upper-level students to new students. They confirmed their support with a grant of $25,826 to formalize the First Generation Club at NDC.

“Peer mentoring…is the difference between success and failure,” said Anna Adams, Huntington’s executive director. “We believe that services like these…make scholarship dollars successful.”

Peer-to-peer mentoring works well with first-generation students because the more experienced students have a better understanding of their new peers’ needs. Hearing from a fellow student who has ‘been there’ builds confidence that success in College is possible.

Many first-generation students do not have a community or family support network with a knowledge of how to navigate the multi-layered college experience. The First Generation Club will integrate formal peer-to-peer mentoring with skills development, financial management, and career-based programming in a supportive environment. The new gift will underwrite a dedicated advisor to the Club and 20 new upper-level peer mentors, each working with 5 Club members. It expands the College’s capacity to serve these future leaders.

“Education is the foundation upon which economically stable and successful communities are built,” Adams said.

Huntington believes in the passion of the faculty, staff, and students of Notre Dame. Through scholarships and the First Gen Club, it fuels the desire of the College to attract and retain students who will use their Notre Dame education to build and strengthen the Cuyahoga County community.

The Huntington Fund and Notre Dame share an institutional DNA. When philanthropist John Huntington established his Art and Polytechnic Trust nearly 150 years ago, a portion of that Trust established and maintained what is now The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The other portion of the Trust was dedicated to educating immigrants and those less fortunate in Cuyahoga county in science, technology, and vocations. When the Sisters of Notre Dame established Notre Dame College 100 years ago, they were dedicated to educating German immigrants in Cleveland. Today, the College educates a more ethnically and geographically diverse student population, yet the missions of the John Huntington Fund for Education and the College remain complementary.

July 2022

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit