ST. BONAVENTURE - Mary (Daiber, '84) and Frank Puskar know the meaning of working hard and giving back. Together they founded the successful Energo Engineering Inc., based in Houston, Texas.
Today, wanting to empower others, they have created a lasting opportunity for students at Mary's alma mater - St. Bonaventure University.
The husband-and-wife duo has committed $150,000 to establish the Mary Daiber Puskar '84 Endowed Scholarship. Their goal is to provide accounting majors in the School of Business the chance to become extraordinary.
The inaugural scholarship will be awarded this fall.
Mary, the namesake of the fund, believes providing access to higher education to those who aspire to it and possess the drive is critical.
"My goal with this scholarship is that it will assist others in obtaining their dreams and in giving them a chance to be the best they can be," Mary said.
Frank served as chief engineer of the couple's company while Mary served as chief accountant. Mary found that the skills she learned while attending St. Bonaventure helped her to successfully carry out her duties within the company.
"The accounting aspect is very important in business and the skills I learned while earning my accounting degree (B.B.A., accounting) were critical to the operation," Mary said.
University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F, S.T.D., noted the impact of this extraordinary gift. "The Puskars' strong commitment to our students reflects a firm belief in St. Bonaventure's innovative approach to business education.
"Their scholarship will provide critical support to deserving students for years to come." Carney said.
During her years at St. Bonaventure and in later business success, Mary learned the importance of higher education.
"The Franciscan presence, great education and small-town atmosphere of St. Bonaventure helped form my approach toward successfully dealing with the day-to-day activities in business and in life in general," Mary said. "We wanted to allow others to have a similar opportunity."
Mary felt it was important to give back to those who helped her along the path of life. She cited St. Bonaventure as a critical part of her journey, helping to shape her into the woman she is today.
"I want to acknowledge in particular Bona's contribution to the accounting skills I learned as a student," Mary said. "My husband and I would also like to set an example for other successful alumni in the hope that they will also consider donating to St. Bonaventure."