Donor Stories and Legacies

A Love Without End

In the hope of sharing her mother's love for learning and zeal for living with young people who desire a great education but lack the finances to make it happen, Susanna Hayes furthered the Ellen Margaret Richards Hayes Scholarship.

Faith, family, education: this is the enduring legacy that Ellen Margaret Hayes passed on to her children, along with a joyful spirit and her great passion for music.

Born in 1908 in Alpena, Michigan—the eleventh of twelve children—Ellen Margaret Richards was a gifted pianist and an excellent scholar. Though her fondest wish was to attend college, the economics of a large family and a nation verging on the Great Depression made that dream unattainable.

“Instead, my mother did as much as she could afford to, completing both the pre-college and commercial programs at her local Catholic school, St. Bernhard,” says her daughter, Susanna Hayes. “And then she went to work. Her industriousness and careful savings habit helped to see her family through the Depression.”

Ellen Margaret’s lifelong love for Notre Dame began early, when her much-adored youngest brother, Raphael, entered the University, where he distinguished himself as lead soloist for the Glee Club. The distinction came as little surprise to his sister; for the two had gained some renown in their hometown, as a musical duo performing for weddings, parties, funerals, and other gatherings. Raphael later entered the priesthood, serving the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, for the rest of his life.

The pair’s eldest brother, Thomas Daniel, also entered religious life, joining the seminary at Notre Dame in 1916; he was later ordained a priest in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

After Ellen Margaret became engaged to her childhood sweetheart, John Hayes, the couple traveled to campus to be married by Father Richards in the Log Chapel. The Hayes raised five children: John, Thomas, Mary, Susanna, and Francis. “Mom encouraged all of us to achieve to our greatest capacity,” says Susanna. “She was always checking over our homework, listening to recited lessons, and seeing to it that we practiced our piano.”

With a charitable remainder trust, Susanna strengthened the Ellen Margaret Richards Hayes Scholarship in the hope of sharing her mother’s love for learning—and zeal for living—with young people who desire a great education but lack the finances to make it happen.

A charitable remainder trust has the potential for significant growth and maximizes the opportunity to provide future scholarships by leveraging the historic strength of the Notre Dame Investment Office. Benefactors who establish charitable remainder trusts participate in the same net rate of returns as the Notre Dame Endowment, while enjoying lifetime income.

The Notre Dame Endowment is consistently rated one of the best-performing endowments in all of higher education; it is invested in a highly diversified mix of assets, which is often limited and rarely available to the average investor or mutual fund manager.

“My mother didn’t have this kind of opportunity,” says Susanna, “but she sought it out for her children—and now, with this scholarship, her legacy has broadened even further.”

Susanna Hayes enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in 1960 and went on to earn a doctorate from the University of Michigan. She is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Washington University and currently serves as a school counselor at Lake Roosevelt High School on the Colville Indian Reservation in Coulee Dam, Washington.