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In Memory of Mary Nguyen Silsbee '98

The University of Scranton’s Class of 1998 was a special one. Spending four years living, learning and growing together has resulted in friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. The years following graduation were busy with career aspirations, exploring the world, growing families and becoming the adults we are today.

Along the way, one of us took a different path. On November 5, 2013, Mary Nguyen Silsbee passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, leaving a loving and beautiful family: her husband Jeff, and daughters Callie (now 9) and Emme (now 6).

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Mary built an impressive life in a short 37 years. After graduating from Scranton with a degree in psychology, she earned her Master's in Elementary School Counseling and selflessly cared for many others, including her family and her clients. Mary was a Behavior Specialist and worked with many children affected by autism. The impact she made on others continues to live on today in her own children, and the children who were lucky to have Mary as their therapist. 

We all remember Mary for her grace, beautiful smile, hilarious Halloween costumes, impeccable style and quiet humor. She didn’t just light up a room, she lit up our lives. She was incredibly selfless and strong --  a living example of the values we all gleaned from our experience at a close-knit, Jesuit university.

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Julie D'Avanzo Guthrie '98, Dawn (Sarao) Lopez '98, Erin (Sheedy) Dougherty '98, Meg (Cannella) Robustelli '98
For this reason, a group of her close friends have decided to work with the University to raise funds in her honor for something she was very passionate about.

Today, on the University's Day of Giving, consider making a contribution to the Psychology Department in memory of Mary. Your gift will support educational programming that teaches current and future Scranton students how to care for children with autism, just as Mary did.

With your help, we hope to raise at least $10,000. Once we do, a memorial bench will be placed on campus and dedicated to Mary, providing somewhere for those who knew her, and even those who did not, to gather around her name and help her legacy live on for years to come.

Thank you so much for helping us honor a friend and classmate who showed everyone she met what it means to be a Scranton graduate committed to serving others.

Make your 5.06 Gift in Honor of Mary Here