The Alumni Loyalty Award honors a graduate who consistently demonstrates loyalty and commitment to the Stevenson University community by devoting time and talent to enhance the overall success of the University. This person should be directly involved in advancing the success of the Stevenson community and providing consistent philanthropic support to the University. This year the Alumni Loyalty Award recipient is Fran Gunshol, from the Class of 1967.
With close ties to Villa Julie College, Fran’s decision to attend was encouraged by her family. When her sister, Sharon, attended Villa Julie, their father became very involved, initiating the Father’s Club at Carolyn Manuszak’s request. This served as an encouraging precursor to her attendance.
She notes that throughout her student experience, the professors and sisters at Villa Julie affirmed her abilities and gave her great confidence, for which she is forever grateful. In addition to her studies, Fran played on the field hockey and lacrosse teams. She was afforded the opportunity to travel to England after graduation with a classmate, Marsha Kovar '67, for the summer. She notes that perhaps they had one of the first Villa Julie study abroad experiences!
It was also her family that would encourage Fran to return to campus as an employee later in life. In her role as the Director of Alumni Relations, Fran helped to move Stevenson forward and was part of the team behind many major achievements. When the institution gained university status in 2008, she worked on a major capital campaign to support the growth of Stevenson University. She looks fondly upon her time as a staff member; collaborating with coworkers, growing personally and professionally, and enjoying the nostalgia of reporting to work each day in the Mueller House.
Since her retirement, Fran has continued working part time and is currently a consultant in planned giving and special projects for Notre Dame of Maryland University. Throughout her career she has been responsible for moving organizations forward, raising funds and friends for non-profits, and connecting people and projects. She stays active in the community in a variety of ways and is currently serving on Board of Historic Hampton, Inc.
Fran is impressed with the growth of Stevenson and hopes that the University will continue to adapt, grow, and stay loyal to its mission faithfully done since the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur founded Villa Julie in 1947.