Seeds of Generosity
Ann Gonzales-Lindahl ’86 knows firsthand about sacrifice and the blessings of a scholarship.
Both were instilled into her as an only child growing up in Ventura, California, where she was raised mostly by her mother. Money was tight, but a Catholic education was essential. To supplement her mother’s nursing income, Gonzales-Lindahl worked during high school at McDonald’s, starting behind the counter and rising to first-level manager. By the end of her tenure, she was ordering supplies and making sales projections, an experience that sparked her interest in studying business.
Santa Clara University was Catholic, and it had a strong business program. But when it came to college applications, a high school counselor warned her not to put undue financial pressure on her mother.
Gonzales-Lindahl was crushed. How could she ask her mother to bear such a financial burden, just so her daughter could be the first in their family to go away to college?
Her school principal encouraged her to apply anyway, saying, “There is a path out there for you; don’t settle.”
To her delight, Santa Clara’s offer came with an Everett Alvarez Jr. Endowed Scholarship, significantly reducing her dependence on student loans. And when her childhood best friend also decided to go to SCU, where they would be roommates, “it was almost like God was sending me a message,” recalls Gonzales- Lindahl. “All the positive things lined up to lead me here,” including, she says, meeting her husband, Greg Lindahl ’86, MBA ’93.
The experience also inspired her to repay Santa Clara for the opportunity. While working at a bank after the birth of her son Erik Lindahl ’19, Gonzales-Lindahl was offered a Life Insurance Policy as part of her compensation. The couple decided to designate Santa Clara University as the beneficiary of the policy and became members of the Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society, named after one of the University’s earliest alumni to include a bequest in his estate to SCU. Their gift will support the General Financial Aid Scholarships Fund.
“We were not at the point where we could write a big check to Santa Clara,’’ says Gonzales-Lindahl, now manager of regulatory affairs at San Jose Water Company.
“But the fact of the matter is that every gift—even a small gift—affects a student’s future, because those are investments in the University, and they grow.”