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Office of Development | The Shannon Challenge – Update

Alumnae Succeed in Surpassing the Shannon Challenge!

Seizing the moment, the Classes of 1960 through 1964 came through for Trinity in a big way as they responded to the generous challenge issued by Phil and Mary McMahon Shannon ’60 as part of Mary’s 50th Reunion celebration. The Shannon Challenge inspired these classes to exceed the $350,000 bar, making gifts and pledges totaling $376,635.40! Congratulations to these five classes for their leadership response! 

All giving is a combination of generosity and participation. The Office of Development is thrilled to note that:

  • The average participation rate for these five classes rose ten percent in response to the Shannons’ generous gift.  Congratulations!
  • Twenty-five percent of donors to the Shannon Challenge had not given to the Annual Fund in five years. Welcome back! You made a difference! Gifts from this group totaled $29,466.00. With the Shannon match, your renewed participation means $58,932.00 for the Trinity Annual Fund. Thank you!
  • 147 alumnae from these classes, or 41% of all donors to the Shannon Challenge, gave a gift during both FY10 and FY11. Annual support for the Annual Fund is critical! 

This excitement for the Trinity Annual Fund is bittersweet, however. On New Year’s Eve, Trinity learned of the passing of Phil Shannon. His death was unexpected, and our hearts and prayers go out to Mary and her family, including sons David, Liam, Eamon and daughter Brettany, and all their families. 

Phil Shannon truly lived his Catholic faith. His and Mary’s generosity extended to many areas, including education. For Phil, access was key. He believed that every person deserves access to education, and he believed that Trinity is accomplishing this with today’s young women as with women of Mary’s generation through the mission set forth by the Sisters of Notre Dame. The Shannon Challenge is the Catholic belief of social justice in action. As the Shannons expressed their hopes in making this generous challenge, “We believe in Trinity and the difference that it continues to make for new generations. The world has changed in 50 years, but Trinity’s commitment to the Catholic ideals of community service and social justice has not changed. The vision of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is clear. The work of Trinity must be supported.” 

When he came to Mary with the idea for the Shannon challenge, there was no doubt in his mind that the women of Trinity would succeed. Having three Trinity women in his family – Mary and her sisters Kate McMahon Dooley and Nora McMahon Glover – he was well acquainted with the power of Trinity women. A donor aptly expressed upon hearing of the successful challenge drive and Phil’s untimely passing, “Copious thanks and deepest sympathy to Mary Shannon.  I’m sure that Phil knows about the Challenge’s wonderful success as part of his eternal reward.” 

Trinity is grateful to the many donors who participated in the successful Shannon Challenge. We also wish to recognize the classmates who helped to make it happen! 

Class of 1960 – Judith Murphy Leheny
Class of 1961 – Kathleen McMahon Dooley, Rosemary Durkin Lyon, Mary Bagley O’Connor,Faye Padgett, Francey Smith, Margaret “Nan” Dennis Smith*
Class of 1962 –Joan Littley Clark, Jeanne Becker Lynch, Rita Murray Meyer, Sallie Lawler Parker, Patricia “Cookie” Glennon Whammond
Class of 1963 – Sue Hurley August, Bonnie Doherty Delay, Patricia H. Livingston, Mary Alice O’Dowd, Barbara Bertrand Saxe, Martha Murphy Schwieters
Class of 1964 – Marie Dennis, Mary Lou Heck Farmer, Kay Carmody Williams

Read more about the Shannon Challenge.

Contact the Development office at 202-884-9720, or by email at Trinity is a 501(C)3 non-profit educational organization. More contact info.



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