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QU receives six-figure endowment gift in memory of John Mahoney

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Quincy University announced Monday that it has received a $550,000 gift from an anonymous donor to support the John Mahoney Scholarship, which already had been the largest single scholarship at the university.

University officials said this newest gift, when combined with previous gifts from the same donor, makes the principal value of the scholarship nearly $3 million.

The John Mahoney Scholarship, established in 2019, is awarded to students majoring in the humanities. Mahoney was a 1966 Quincy College, now Quincy University, graduate and Tony Award-winning actor, who was most famous for his role as Martin Crane on the long running NBC sitcom, “Frasier”. Mahoney passed away in 2018 at the age of 77.

University officials stated four students were awarded the Mahoney Scholarship this fall.

One of the students benefiting from this generous gift is senior Shane Hulsey from Wentzville, Mo., studying multimedia communication. Hulsey is in the Honors Program, is a Franciscan Service Scholar and a member of the Lambda Pi Eta honor society. Hulsey stays busy working on the crew of the QUTV Sports Show, the QUTV Hawk Talk podcast and the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Network.

He also has been selected this year as the student ambassador for QU to the university’s athletic conference, the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Hulsey has worked as a part of the GLVC Network since the second semester of his freshman year. “My goal is to go into sports broadcasting after I graduate,” said Hulsey. “ I will try to get a job with a minor league team or local station, hopefully in the St.Louis area.”

Hulsey was the only student from his high school to attend QU. Coming to campus alone has stretched him and allowed him to meet people from all over the world. Being in Quincy has opened the door for many opportunities. He has worked at the Q.H.W. newspaper as well as
WGEM TV during his time at QU.

“Meeting people and making connections is the most rewarding thing I’ve been able to do while at QU,” said Hulsey. “That’s the part about communications and broadcasting that I like, connecting and telling other people's stories — stories that they want to tell but don’t have the means to tell.”

Hulsey is very appreciative to the generous donors who have helped him attend QU to earn a degree and experience the Quincy community.

“This scholarship has given me a sense of comfort, knowing that I don’t have to pay back a whole bunch of loans when I graduate. It makes the whole process a little bit easier,” said Hulsey. “I appreciate the belief that donors have in us as students, as people and as future leaders in the community. They recognize that what they are supporting is valuable, not only furthering
our education but for the things we will do beyond college.”
John Mahoney believed that a QU education prepares students to succeed and to become caring leaders in their communities.

In a letter to fellow alumni, Mahoney wrote, “Quincy University prepared me for anything I ever wanted to do in my life. It gave me wide-ranging knowledge, which has formed a broad educational base for my work as an actor. Many schools talk about their values and their caring atmospheres, but I experienced it directly. I’m a better person for having attended Quincy University.”

Mahoney was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, on June 20, 1940, in the middle of the German blitz of England. He immigrated to the United States in 1959, at the age of 19.

Following three years of service in the Army, he enrolled at QU. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English, he went elsewhere to earn a master’s degree in English and began his teaching career.

Mahoney spent the next few years moving through various jobs, including time as a teacher and an editor for a medical journal.

Mahoney joined Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre in 1979, where he appeared in over 20 productions.

In 1986, Mahoney won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in the Broadway production of “The House of Blue Leaves”.

In a career spanning four decades, Mahoney acted in dozens of plays, movies and television shows.

Mahoney worked his way through college and often struggled to make ends meet. The Franciscan Friars noticed and helped in any way they could. Their care and generosity stayed with Mahoney throughout his life. University officials said it is in this spirit the scholarship was established in Mahoney’s honor.

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Jim Roberts

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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