Maureen (Hennessy) Wadiak ’80

Maureen (Hennessy) Wadiak ‘80

Equalizing the Playing Field

Maureen (Hennesy) Wadiak spent her early years travelling with her father, a non-commissioned military officer, and her mother and brother. The family lived in Germany, Virginia, Kansas and Georgia before settling in New Jersey, where she earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Seton Hall in 1980. At Seton Hall, Maureen learned from professors who saw her potential and challenged her with encouragement and kindness. Their support spurred her to advance her education at Columbia University with a graduate degree in social work.

Reflecting on Seton Hall, she recalls “professors who took the time to get to know you on a personal level” and a University that "infused a sense of moral responsibility to care for our fellow man and planet, and to build a more equitable, just society."

After a 30-year career at social service agencies committed to serving the working poor and addressing homelessness and food insecurity in the San Francisco area, Maureen and her husband, David, retired to Kitsap County, Wash. Just prior to retirement, they reflected on their personal and professional lives and asked themselves, "How could we make a difference in lives of others" and leave a legacy after their passing?

"For young people from many working- and middle-class families, the opportunity to attend a private university has exceeded their financial means,” Maureen says. “So I wanted to help equalize the playing field in a small way to ensure that prospective and current students can attend Seton Hall."

For that reason, Maureen and her husband established the David T. and Maureen Wadiak Endowed Scholarship. “My husband and I do not have children of our own; however, we wanted to ensure that other families could send their children, who are in a sense ‘our children,’ to Seton Hall,” Maureen says. They hope their gift will enable the University to attract and retain students who will be tomorrow's leaders — leaders who combine intellect and integrity to make the world a better place.

At a Glance: Bequests

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