Local couple getting top award from national Catholic education group

| September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mary Lynn and Warren Staley

Warren and Mary Lynn Staley, members of Our Lady of Grace in Edina, are among five recipients of this year’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association.

The Seton Award is the NCEA’s highest honor, given in recognition of significant contributions to Catholic education.

The award is named in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1921), the first native-born American saint.

The Staleys are being honored for their  support of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park and the Opportunity International program.

Helping others

Warren Staley began working at Cargill in 1969 and served as chairman of its foundation from 1995 to 2005 before his retirement, according to the NCEA.

Mary Lynn Staley has devoted her time and talents to BSM. She served on the board of directors and helped introduce strategic planning at the school, the NCEA said.

Together the Staleys have given the largest single gift in the school’s history, allowing the school to remain affordable in future years for its diverse student population.

The Staleys have mutually embraced the mission of Opportunity International, an organization comprised of owned and regulated microfinance institutions that share a common mission to follow Jesus Christ’s call to serve the poor.

The couple volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in the Twin Cities, Mexico and South Africa.

They also made a lead gift to Kansas State University, their alma mater, establishing the school’s Center for Leadership Studies.

The 21st annual Seton Awards ceremony will be held Oct. 3 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

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