Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martin’s University has received a $2.25 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education, under the Strengthening Institutions Program.

“Congratulations to Saint Martin’s University,” said Congressman Denny Heck. “I am pleased that this award will help provide Saint Martin’s students with expanded experiential learning and internship opportunities throughout the South Sound as they pursue their degrees and graduation. I am proud to represent Saint Martin’s in Congress and applaud its commitment to supporting its students through innovative methods and partnerships with community organizations and businesses.”

The funds, awarded over five years, will support new initiatives designed to improve student success, address student needs, and bolster the University’s persistence and completion rates.

This grant will provide the support to provide equitable access to experiential learning, including internships, service-learning and undergraduate research. Students will gain valuable work experience to complement their academic work. The grant will provide support to faculty to advise and supervise student interns, and it will strengthen our community relationships. An important element of the grant is that it provides the structure for professional development for our students, addressing the gaps in social capital that our student population may have.

“The grant is to strengthen the institution, and its impact will be felt across the university,” said Ann Adams, Saint Martin’s Associate Dean of Students. “The goal is to transform the students’ academic experience into one that includes participation in internships which will increase graduation rates and deepen engagement with our community partners.”

The Title III grant builds on Saint Martin’s Saints Promise strategic initiatives launched earlier in 2020. The program is a promise of a successful outcome from a Saint Martin’s University education to students who invest in their career planning by completing year-by-year activities. Elements of implementing this grant include dedicated faculty and staff for internship development, networking events, visits (in-person and virtual) to workplaces of our alumni, financial literacy, and development of career competencies. The grant also includes a $450,000 match over five years to grow an endowment. The endowment is unrestricted dollars that can be used to sustain or be directed to grow this effort in support of student success.

In order to apply for Title III funds, applicants have to meet certain criteria based on a percentage of PELL eligible students and university core expenditures (educational and general expenditures) before they can even apply for Title III.

“This grant builds on the extraordinary work we do for the students we serve and the transformational experience we strive to provide all students,” said Saint Martin’s President Dr. Roy Heynderickx. “By providing new, significant resources to areas we know will increase student success, this grant will allow us to excel at what we do best as a Catholic, Benedictine university.”


Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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