Gift to Establish Holy Cross Scholarship

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Holy Cross College has received a $1.5 million gift to establish a scholarship for students in need. Mark and Renee Hollier's donation will endow the Robert John Hollier Presidential Scholarship, in honor of their nephew who died in a 2011 motorcycle accident.

March 13, 2014

News Release

Notre Dame, Ind. -- Mark and Renee Hollier have pledged $1.5 million to fully endow a scholarship at Holy Cross College. The Robert John Hollier Presidential Scholarship will be awarded to a "student in need." This means that a student will be able to focus on their academics without having to worry about financing their college education. Mark and Renee's gift is truly amazing because their only connection to Holy Cross College is through Mark’s brother, Dr. David Hollier. David, a trustee for Holy Cross and Program Director, Master of Arts in Teaching and Associate Professor of Education at St. Edward’s University, shared, "how I feel strongly about Holy Cross because of its mission and vision especially the emphasis of creating young insightful leaders in a complex world providing them the courage to act." David's testimonial for Holy Cross was so strong, that without ever stepping on campus, Mark and Renee made this gift simply from the generosity of their hearts.

Last year, David Hollier approached his brother about establishing a scholarship to immortalize David's nephew, Robert, who died in a 2011 motorcycle accident. David was touched by the narrative of the College's Nicholas Spehar Scholarship, funded by the estate of the late David Gundlach after hearing about the Navy Seal's death while serving our country. Hollier said, "I thought maybe setting up this type of memorial might help my brother, and our family, feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction in light of our loss."

Much like the scripture's prodigal son, Robert was a "troubled-child" who hit rock bottom. He called his father and asked for help. Mark was happy to help and give him a second chance at making himself a better person. This idea is the hope passed onto the recipients of the scholarship. As David explained, "Robbie had his whole life ahead and was on the cusp of making a difference in the world and doing good things. Given that his life was taken, allowing others to have the support through this scholarship, might allow them to make a difference and do good work." In his memory, the gift of hope will make seemingly impossible dreams come true for many young people for years to come. Hope is passed onto hope.

The Holliers were greatly impressed with the idea of creating leaders with the courage to act in a challenging world. They decided to go through with establishing the scholarship, simply based on their belief in the mission of Holy Cross College and the good it would offer to students as a memorial for their son.

In the words of Br. John Paige, C.S.C. President of Holy Cross College, "Mark and Renee Hollier saw an opportunity to re-direct their sorrow over a son’s untimely death, by providing access to a quality Catholic higher education for another student like their beloved Robert John. This endowed scholarship in his memory is a testimony of faith put into action for the benefit of a Holy Cross College student with financial need. It is a living legacy for their son."

To learn more about Holy Cross College visit the website at

Holy Cross College is a Catholic, four-year, co-educational, liberal arts institution founded in 1966 by the Brothers of Holy Cross. With a 13:1 faculty/student ratio, students find personal attention from professors who care about their success and development in mind, body, and spirit. The Four Pillars of the core curriculum include academic instruction, professional internship, service to others, and a global perspective experience, culminating in a senior Capstone experience, which synthesizes and assesses each student’s learning. Located in Notre Dame, Indiana, Holy Cross College provides the best of both worlds: a close-knit, small college atmosphere with the resources and social opportunities of a large university.

Source: Holy Cross College