Marist Magazine Winter 2013 - page 30

ven after retiring, Dr. Mary Louise
Bopp never stopped thinking about
Marist communication students and how to
help them launch successful careers. More
than a decade after leaving the College, she
started underwriting activities that could
broaden students’ view of the communica-
tions industry and the range of professional
opportunities open to them. When she passed
away in 2008, her estate provided permanent
support to the School of Communication and
the Arts by endowing the Dr. Mary Louise
Bopp Communication Fund with a gift of
nearly $270,000.
“Mary Louise wanted this to be her legacy,”
says Shaileen Kopec, Marist’s senior develop-
ment officer for planned giving and endow-
ment support. “She had a passion for working
with young people and for working in the com-
munication field. She especially saw the value
of our communications majors embracing New
York City, the communications capital of the
world. Most of all, she wanted Marist students
to have a competitive advantage in getting that
first job, and she knew how important intern-
ships and networking were to achieving this.”
In helping to guide the establishment of
the fund, Kopec united Bopp with Marist
Communication Internship Director Gerry
McNulty to identify a variety of activities that
the one-time advertising practitioner was will-
ing to sponsor. Initial activities included under-
writing registration fees for the Advertising
Women of New York’s annual career confer-
ence (also open to men) and for several New
York-based seminars that acquainted com-
munication majors with fields such as sports
communication and special-event planning. In
addition to learning from seasoned New York
professionals, Marist students had the oppor-
tunity to network with prospective employers
and to assess their own competitiveness among
peers from other colleges and universities.
An important part of making these activities
feasible was the underwriting of travel and
meal expenses.
“Mary Louise strongly believed that seeing
the New York media industry in action and
connecting with communications profession-
als, especially those who are Marist graduates,
would encourage our students to take on more
challenging internships than they first thought
possible,” says McNulty. “These internships
would make them as competitive as possible
when they entered the job market.”
Toward these ends, annual awards from
the Bopp Fund underwrite, among other activi-
ties, trips to New York City for networking
events with alumni, meetings with executives
in the industry, and tours of media outlets; the
hosting of visiting executives on the Marist
campus to lecture and advise students; the par-
ticipation of Marist student teams in national
college/university competitions in advertising
or public relations;
and the develop-
ment of portfolio
One example
of a sponsored
ac t iv it y i s an
annual student-
alumni network-
ing event in New
York City organized by the Communication
Internship Department. The most recent
event was held at Taylor, a public relations
agency located in the Empire State Building,
and was hosted by Taylor managing partner
John Liporace ’88. A bus underwritten by the
Bopp Fund brought 34 communication majors
together with 13 Marist alumni from leading
advertising, public relations, TV, and sports
communication agencies and businesses. “The
energy was fantastic,” says McNulty.
According to Dr. Steve Ralston, dean of the
School of Communication and the Arts, more
than 500 students have benefitted from the
Bopp Fund. “This is an invaluable resource. It’s
just wonderful for our students to have these
high-impact, career-oriented opportunities.
The fund just keeps giving to our students.”
And giving to students is just what Mary
Louise Bopp had in mind.
Estate Gift Boosts Careers
for Communication Students
Expanded professional experiences can give students a competitive edge in the job
market, thanks to the generosity of former faculty member Dr. Mary Louise Bopp.
The estate of former
communications faculty
member Dr. Mary Louise
Bopp endowed a fund
to support activities
of the School of
Communication and the
Arts that give students
real-world experience in
the media industry.
underwritten by the
Bopp Fund brought
34 communication
majors together with
13 Marist alumni from
leading advertising,
public relations, TV, and
sports communication
agencies and businesses
in New York City.
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