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December 19, 2006 - GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN (December 22, 2006) - Aquinas College has announced that it will soon benefit from its largest bequest ever. The College was named as a beneficiary of proceeds from trusts established by three members of the Mohler family, Dennison and Marquerite of Grand Haven and Audrey Mohler of Grand Rapids. Aquinas will receive proceeds from about $4 million of the $13.5 million value of the two trusts.

"The foresight and careful planning of the Mohler Family members has provided Aquinas College with the College's largest planned gift to date," according to Julie Ridenour, vice president of Institutional Advancement.

Aquinas will receive approximately $190,000 annually from two trusts which will be used for large scholarships for students in the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Music.

"The Mohler Foundation bequest is a significant contribution to scholarship support for music and science students," said C. Edward Balog, interim president of Aquinas College. "The College is engaged in a major effort to promote undergraduate research so the science grant, in particular, will enhance the capacity of our science majors to engage in independent research projects with faculty mentors."

The College will create the Mohler Scholar Program which will be designed to attract the most talented students interested in music and the sciences. Students majoring in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics who are selected for the monetary awards from the Dennison and Marquerite Mohler Trust will be identified as "Mohler Scholars." Students majoring in music receiving scholarships from the Audrey Mohler Trust will be known as "Mohler Music Scholars." In addition, approximately $25,000 of the trust proceeds will fund Summer Research Fellowships to cover costs associated with student/faculty research activities.

The first scholarships to be awarded to qualified students will be made next spring to prospective and current students who will be attending Aquinas in fall 2007. The College plans to recognize the Mohler scholars at an annual recognition ceremony.

The main trust held by the Mohler Family Foundation was established by Dennison and Marquerite Mohler of Grand Haven. Dennison was an electrical engineer who taught physics and mechanical drawing at Catholic Junior College (1934-36), now Aquinas College. He went on to work for the government's Rural Electrification Agency and later Consumers Power Company until his retirement in 1972. He was 86 at the time of his death in December 1996. Marquerite Mohler died this past August (2006) at the age of 98. As the last surviving family member, her death prompted notification of the bequest.

The second trust was created by Dennison’s sister, Audrey, who was a public health nurse for the city of Grand Rapids until her retirement in 1975. She was an accomplished pianist who taught the blind to play. She was a member of St. Cecilia Music Society and for many years attended musical performances by students and faculty at Aquinas College. Audrey established a music scholarship in her name at the College that has already benefited many of the College's music students. She died in 1997. None of the Mohler's had any children.