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For a Daughter's Graduation, a Gift to Other Students
Clare Muñana's scholarship fund will benefit future generations
Five years ago, Clare Muñana was one of many proud parents seated in the Main Quad when President John Hennessy offered encouragement to the incoming Class of 2014.
"At Stanford, you can explore the frontiers of fields where new knowledge and understanding are being created," he told the new freshmen. "And you can contribute."
Hennessy's inspiring words stayed with Muñana as she watched her daughter, Madeleine McCartney, '14, learn and grow during her time on the Farm. As a mother of three, Muñana thought about young people who were just as smart and hardworking but who lacked the wherewithal to attend a university like Stanford.
Fast-forward to the balmy June day in 2014 when she sat in Stanford Stadium and watched Madeleine graduate. Muñana chose a gift that would last far beyond that happy occasion. She established the Carlita Pelleton Muñana and Joan Maust McCartney Undergraduate Scholarship in her daughter's honor. As a stewardee on the gift, Madeleine will have the chance to receive letters from and connect with student beneficiaries for years to come.
"This Is Their Legacy"
The scholarship is named for Madeleine's grandmothers, Carlita Pellaton Muñana and Joan Maust McCartney. Both women were lifelong teachers and are passionate about education—each had 5 children, and all 10 attended college.
"My grandmothers are both incredible and inspiring women who have valued the gift of education throughout their lives," says Madeleine. "I am so thankful to my mother for honoring them, and my time at Stanford, with this gift."
In a nod to Clare Muñana's own longtime involvement with the Chicago Public Schools, where she served more than 10 years as vice president of the board, the scholarship will support a Latina from a Chicago public high school whenever possible. Eighty-six percent of Chicago public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 46 percent are Latino. Those numbers, and the young people they represent, convinced Muñana to extend a hand.
"There are so many young people with limited resources who cannot pursue a higher education, and I want to provide them with the opportunity," she says. "If you can spend the time to find these kids, I know they exist."
She created another scholarship to honor her eldest son, Charles, when he graduated from Princeton University in 2011. Muñana takes to heart a verse she has shared with her daughter and two sons over the years: From those to whom much is given, much is expected.
"I give back in my children's names, but it is up to them to embrace the future, and to build on it," Muñana says. "This is their legacy."