Golobics' Generosity Benefits Students

In GreatAmerica Leasing’s Human Resources Department, Tony and Magda Golobic have proudly hung the dozens of thank you notes they have received from Mount Mercy students.

In the past five years the Golobics have given 40 named scholarships to Mount Mercy students, in the hope that the students will remain in Iowa after their graduation.

For some students, like Bryce Stalcup ’10, from Prescott, Iowa, the named scholarship is instrumental in financing his education. “The scholarship has opened so many doors for me,” says Stalcup. “Without receiving this help there is a good chance that I could not have attended Mount Mercy. I worked full time to try to ease the pain of bills and this scholarship helps me out more than I can explain.”

Stalcup is one of 10 Mount Mercy students who have benefited from the Golobics’ named scholarships during the 2008-09 academic year. As a result of the scholarship assistance, most — if not all — students feel compelled to send their benefactors a note of thanks.

While it is not an expectation that donors will receive thank you notes from the students they help to support, it is an added benefit that is well received and appreciated. “The thank you notes make us feel good and more importantly they help us to get acquainted with the students,” says Tony, chairman and chief executive officer of GreatAmerica Leasing, the company he purchased in 1992 and runs with his wife, Magda, who serves as the group’s director of corporate giving and relations. “The thank you notes are very sensitive, and it’s nice to read that you are helping someone,” says Magda. “It shows that the feeling really comes from their heart.”

Tony and Magda, a member of the Board of Trustees since November 2004, have been staunch supporters of Mount Mercy since they moved to Cedar Rapids in 1987. Initially, they began contributing to the named scholarship fund because they recognized that many GreatAmerica employees were also Mount Mercy alumni who chose to live and work in the Cedar Rapids metro area following their graduation. The Golobics appreciated the insight, determination and skills that the College’s alumni bring to the company, and wanted to support their employees’ alma mater.

Today, more than 30 of GreatAmerica’s 308 employees are Mount Mercy alumni. Additionally, 74 percent of all Mount Mercy alumni remain in Iowa and 37 percent in the Cedar Rapids metro area, a statistic the Golobics treasure. “The College performs an important role in the community,” says Tony. “It offers a quality education for students who plan to stay in Cedar Rapids and Linn County, and we are very pleased with the type of students that Mount Mercy attracts. Mount Mercy and its students are worthy of that [scholarship] support.”

The named scholarships funded by the Golobics are earmarked for students pursuing a business major, who carry a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and have a strong desire to stay in Iowa upon graduation. Sarah Richmond ’10, who majored in marketing and business management from Robins, Iowa, has benefited from the Golobics’ generosity. “I hope to stay in Cedar Rapids after I graduate,” says Richmond. “I grew up here and enjoy living here, and I think Cedar Rapids has good career potential. It is also a good place to live and raise a family, which is important to me.”

The Golobics are also proud of the fact that many of the students who receive their named scholarships hail from rural areas. “We very much believe in the type of kids that an Iowa farming family brings up,” says Tony, noting the qualities of hard work and proving oneself that are common traits among Mount Mercy students. Students raised in rural areas are “probably a group that is most deserving and neediest of that type of scholarship,” he says. Magda also praises the high number of Mount Mercy students who are first-generation college students, meaning they are the first member of their immediate family to pursue higher education.

In their more than 20 years of involvement with Mount Mercy, the Golobics have seen many changes on the Hill. Most recently Magda has been involved in helping to shape The Plan for Mount Mercy University, the strategic plan that charts a course for the College to become a University by 2012. She notes that Mount Mercy has taken “big steps” and that “there is an excitement about the plans.” She observes that since the arrival of President Christopher Blake in 2006, the institution has moved forward by hiring “strong faculty, adding to staff, and being more selective” in admissions. These steps “have opened up many possibilities of where we can go from here.”

“The future will tell, but we have a lot of confidence in Mount Mercy’s leadership and direction,” says Tony. “We think the College is on the right path. We have a lot of respect for Mount Mercy and are thankful it is located in Cedar Rapids. We have had a wonderful association with the College and look forward to many more years.”