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McNulty Foundation Invests $2.6M to Advance Women in STEM through Leadership Program

This gift greatly expands the John P. McNulty Program for Leadership in Science and Mathematics, and marks a milestone contribution to SOAR: The Campaign for Saint Joseph’s University.

Anne Welsh McNulty with SJU student

Published: September 6, 2022

Total reading time: 3 minutes

Saint Joseph’s University will expand its commitment to women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a $2.6 million investment from the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation. The University and the Foundation have worked to advance women’s representation and leadership in STEM for over a decade through the John P. McNulty Scholars program.

The innovative program provides full- and partial-tuition scholarships, alongside a suite of offerings to help young women break barriers in their chosen STEM fields, including faculty and peer mentorship, research and leadership development opportunities, and community building. The enhanced program, now the John P. McNulty Program for Leadership in Science and Mathematics, will scale the offerings to reach more women over the next seven years, and will invest more deeply in preparing and nurturing women’s leadership in these fields.

"It's not enough that women enter STEM fields, or even stay in STEM fields; women need to lead in STEM," says Anne Welsh McNulty H ’19, co-founder and president of the McNulty Foundation. "The talented cohorts of McNulty Scholars over the last decade inspired us to deepen the leadership dimension of the program and to increase our philanthropic support. This will enable more women than ever before to achieve their greatest potential and to change the world.”

This fall, 36 women will participate as scholars and fellows in the new McNulty Leadership Program, and the cohort is expected to nearly double in the next four years.

The program was created in 2009, in honor of John P. McNulty ’74, a former Saint Joseph’s student body president and later trustee. He believed deeply in the transformative power of education to unlock talent, and the potential that individual leaders have to change society through their examples.

John P. McNulty
John P. McNulty

Over the last decade-plus, the McNulty Foundation has invested nearly $6.5 million at Saint Joseph's, which has spurred the trajectories of 111 women and has proven results both in academic excellence and the ability to develop emerging leaders. More than half of the graduates have earned or are pursuing advanced degrees, and many have launched successful professional careers, establishing themselves as leaders in their fields. Impressively, participating students have collectively published or contributed to 23 scientific publications in the last year alone. McNulty Scholars and Fellows have been awarded various prestigious national grants and internships, including the Goldwater Scholarship and the DAAD-RISE fellowship in Germany.

"The McNulty Foundation’s latest investment will scale the McNulty Program for Leadership at Saint Joseph’s University,” says Cheryl McConnell, PhD, interim university president. “With the additional funding, we will provide scholarships and fellowships to more students, enhance our already robust programming and mentorship supports, and ultimately launch more women into STEM leadership positions."

The gift is a significant contribution to SOAR: The Campaign for Saint Joseph’s University, the University’s historic comprehensive campaign. To celebrate the program’s expansion and The John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation's commitment to advancing women in STEM, Saint Joseph’s will host an on-campus reception on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. featuring a keynote by Laurie McNeil, PhD, distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.