Brother Marcel Sylvestre, F.I.C.
A Penny Saved Is Worth More Than a Penny Earned
In 1976, Walsh University experienced a major financial crisis that could have caused Walsh's demise. We saw sinking enrollment and deficit spending. Though a number of local organizations came to our aid, there were no funds to pay salaries. Borrowing from the bank was the last option possible as the school's credit rating was already being seriously questioned.
Though the Brothers of the American Province had already made major contributions to Walsh College, President Francis Blouin asked Br. Henry Vanasse, the Provincial Superior of the American Province, to borrow $97,000 that was invested in the province's retirement fund. Though this was the only money all of the Brothers had in their retirement pension, Br. Henry authorized the loan. When the money was returned in September of that year, Br. Henry remitted the small interest payment made by Walsh to set up a scholarship for a needy student. The trust placed by the Brothers was validated within two years when the financial crisis ended and we began to re-establish ourselves. The finances rebounded and enrollment began to come back up. It was a tremendous sacrifice to save Walsh then, but I think we can all agree that it paid off in so many ways.
Throughout Walsh's history, the Brothers have played an active role in the prosperity of the University, serving as faculty, administration, gardeners, facility maintenance and even coaches during the original years. We have played an integral role in the growth and development of Walsh's facilities and programs. Several have served as President. It is our vow to continue that involvement, no matter how we are called to serve, for years to come and for the future benefit of Walsh University.