62 years later, SMC grad delivers $6.5 million grant – courtesy of federal taxpayer

by Guy Page
Patrick Leahy, St. Michael’s College grad class of 1961, last month delivered the Colchester liberal arts college’s largest grant ever – on the taxpayer’s dime.

The $6.5 million grant to the SMC Center for the Environment will stretch over five years. It was part of Vermont’s large share of the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, introduced by Senate Appropriations Chair Leahy last month. It passed both houses in Congress and was signed into law by Pres. Biden.

“The approximately $6.5 million funding – the largest direct grant ever received by the College – will fund the continued growth and development of the College’s Center for the Environment. The Center, which was officially launched in 2019, creates and supports interdisciplinary, project-based, and place-based education in, for, and about the environment,” a SMC statement said.

The grant to Saint Michael’s included in the bill was one of a number of appropriations over the years that Sen. Leahy, a 1961 graduate, has secured for his alma mater, SMC said.

The College is also continuing to implement a previous appropriation of $400,000 secured by Sen. Leahy in March 2022 supporting the Saint Michael’s Center for Global Engagement. 

Saint Michael’s College said it anticipates that the funds will:  

· Support environmentally focused career development programs, including developing a workforce training program.  

· Expand environmental teaching and learning opportunities, including hands-on learning and service experiences through local and global collaboration. 

· Increase collaboration with community partners to advance environmental work already happening in Vermont.  

· Allow the hiring of additional staff and student employees within the Center, with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and representing a variety of liberal arts perspectives. 

Leahy was elected senator in 1974, and chose to not seek re-election last year. He was succeeded by Sen. Peter Welch, who took his first oath of office last week.

Categories: Congress

14 replies »

  1. Hed be the first to scream about separation of church & state if even a penny of our tax $ went to any other Christian institution.

  2. I resent a donation by a politician to a particular college institution, specifically funded by our tax dollars. No attempt was made to select an institution with experience or expertise in the area, said to be Environmental Emphasis Study! Looks like a dump of cash for a local college, of no special repute, on the event of Senator Leahy’s retirement!

  3. Nice departing gesture, huh? Not his money. Liberals never spend their money. Embarassment. He is poster boy for term limits 48 yrs.

  4. And lo and behold.. Leahy gets another building named after him. Almost looks like a solicitation.

  5. Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

  6. Happy for SMC but for designation is questionable and taking credit for giving a gift over the backs of taxpayers, is sad

  7. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Leahy stole us enough money to get his name on the Echo Museum on the waterfront. I was there not long after it opened and noticed a nice but small plaque on the wall thanking the McAllister family for a million dollar donation of their mown money. He personally probably did not donate a dime but gets his name on the place. It is disgusting and the people that allowed that should be ashamed of themselves.

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