A crucial source of support for tomorrow's leaders

Donor and Volunteer Tribute 2022–23: Katie Fund
Students during an honors ceremony

From the 2022–23 Donor and Volunteer Tribute summer edition of St. Catherine University Magazine.


Both current students and alumni credit the Katie Fund for enabling them to pursue their passions at, and after, St. Catherine University. The University’s annual giving program is one of the four priorities of LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence. The fund plays a vital role in helping today’s students graduate with the skills they need to succeed, supporting resources like curricular and cocurricular programming, emergency needs, and accessibility services. It also helps power the University’s ever-important scholarships, which support today’s students across financial obstacles and allow them to claim their St. Kate’s education, as Gray Meger ’25 attests.

Meger’s education at St. Kate’s has been made possible thanks to scholarships, “a lot of which came from the Katie Fund,” they say, adding to donors that “thanks to you, I am able to pursue my dream of studying biology here at St. Kate’s!”

Meger is a student in the Antonian Honors program, which — like a range of other student opportunities across the University — is supported by gifts to the Katie Fund. Donor contributions provide Katies with classroom resources, technology improvements, student activities, and numerous support centers.

A student presents their research

Both current students and alumni credit the Katie Fund for enabling them to pursue their passions at, and after, St. Catherine University. The University’s annual giving program is one of the four priorities of LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence. The fund plays a vital role in helping today’s students graduate with the skills they need to succeed, supporting resources like curricular and cocurricular programming, emergency needs, and accessibility services. It also helps power the University’s ever-important scholarships, which support today’s students across financial obstacles and allow them to claim their St. Kate’s education, as Gray Meger ’25 attests.

Meger’s education at St. Kate’s has been made possible thanks to scholarships, “a lot of which came from the Katie Fund,” they say, adding to donors that “thanks to you, I am able to pursue my dream of studying biology here at St. Kate’s!”

Meger is a student in the Antonian Honors program, which — like a range of other student opportunities across the University — is supported by gifts to the Katie Fund. Donor contributions provide Katies with classroom resources, technology improvements, student activities, and numerous support centers.

As both alumna and staff member, Christy Jepperson MBA’21, director of annual giving, knows from experience the impact of the annual fund. “As an alum of the Graduate College, I’ve seen firsthand the difference the Katie Fund makes in helping students complete their degrees,” she says. 

“And through my work in development at the University, I’ve experienced the generosity of our alumni and donors as they invest in future leaders. It’s an honor to work with these community members who continue to power the Katie Fund and make St. Kate’s educations possible."

Nearly $2 million a year goes to students thanks to generous Katie Fund supporters called to further the St. Catherine mission or honor their own St. Kate’s experience, like Lakshi Gunawardena ’22.

“I am most grateful for the people I met and the bonds I forged at St. Kate’s,” says Gunawardena. “I am also grateful for the skills that I gained as a student. I give back to the Katie Fund as a donor because it provided me with scholarships and resources. I try to pay it forward so current and future students can have the same opportunities.

Two major days of giving encourage Katies like Meger and Gunawardena to pay their experiences forward through the Katie Fund:

  •  The University’s single largest day of giving, this year’s Give to St. Kate’s Day takes place on November 1 and closes out the campaign. In 2022, more than 800 donors gave in support of the Katie Fund.
  •  Each February, Give to Honor Her encourages donors to recognize, remember, and honor women who have made a difference in their lives and education. This year, donors gave in honor of nearly 700 inspiring women, whose names appeared in a tribute in the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune on March 8, International Women’s Day.
Two students walk in Coeur de Catherine